Continuing in her trend of being the antagonist of Houstonians, Mayor Annise Parker has joined a coalition of big-city Mayors from across the country to express their support for President Obama’s unilateral immigration reforms.

New York City’s mayor, Bill de Blasio, announced Friday that he along with over 30 other mayors will be filing an Amicus Brief in the Texas v. United States lawsuit. 

The lawsuit was brought up by 25 states seeking relief from the President’s broad immigration reforms in the form of an injunction. The brief from the coalition of mayors is intended to publicly oppose the lawsuit and express their support for the unilateral actions of the president. They argue that the injunction being requested by the states would stall necessary changes to the government’s immigration policy.

Parker, who is at the helm of the fourth largest U.S. city and arguably the city on the coalition list most directly impacted by the influx of illegal immigrants, is currently the only mayor in Texas signing on with the coalition dominated by Northeastern big-city mayors.

Most officials in Texas recognize the need to curb the illegal immigration problem, and not exacerbate it by giving amnesty to a significant portion of the group. Being a border state, Texas has been going to great lengths to reduce the number of immigrants coming here illegally. Even with all of the effort put forth, Texas’ illegal immigration population is still well over a million people, and actions like Mayor Parker’s are counterproductive in combatting the problem.

The importance of her commitment shouldn’t be trivialized. 

As the mayor she is expected to know firsthand what will strengthen the Houston community and not hinder its growth. These mayors collectively preside over 28.2 million people, in order for the president’s executive actions to be carried through, having the support of over 30 mayors of major U.S. cities is crucial. While it is obvious that Mayor Parker will never please everyone, her goal should be to appease the 2.1 million legal taxpayers of her city, not the roughly 400,000 lawbreakers.

Houston has long felt the impact of illegal immigration. The city’s schools, hospitals, and other public facilities are already accommodating the immigrants coming into the area while working with limited resources. Recently we reported on the influx of unaccompanied minors enrolled into Houston ISD this school year and the $28 million price tag that came along with them.

One member of the coalition said, “This proposal is fair, economically beneficial for everyone, and the right thing to do.”

Again the argument doesn’t mention the economic impact of undocumented workers on Houston’s legal resident’s ability to find long-term, sustainable employment. Do unemployed citizens already competing in an oversaturated job market need more competition from people who broke the law to come here?

Houston has a growing legal immigrant population who followed the necessary legal channels to become residents. How is rewarding those who skirt the process, “the right thing to do”?

Houston is strained financially, and has an illegal immigration problem that is growing and unmanageable, Mayor Parker, who should have Houstonians’ concerns as her number one priority, is choosing to side with undocumented immigrants instead of the people who elected her.

Charles Blain

Charles Blain is the president of Urban Reform and Urban Reform Institute. A native of New Jersey, he is based in Houston and writes on municipal finance and other urban issues.