Texas Liberal

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Houston CM Toni Lawrence—Not In My Country/ Houston CM James Rodriguez—Not In My Backyard

Houston District A Councilwoman Toni Lawrence said that the small child from Mexico who died in a Houston hospital last week  from Swine Flu should not have been treated here because the child was not an American citizen.

Here’s what she said—

“The last thing I want to do and I may be overreacting, I will be the first to say. But we had a situation in their pediatrics department now, Children’s Hospital. This child was not a United States citizen and to me we have jeopardized the Hospital District and possibly conventions. I know tour boats are not leaving Galveston now because they are not going to Mexico.”

Now I realize that Ms. Lawrence is not a fully coherent person based on this statement,  but the part about the kid not being an American citizen is clear enough.

Ms. Lawrence also said this—I’m very concerned that someone died here in Houston with (swine flu). I’m very concerned that council wasn’t told of this in a prompt way. Again we could have got an e-mail this morning. We did not. So that is a very big concern for me. I think it’s a real reality and we need to be aware of this and continue to do things for Houston and not for anybody else but what’s best for Houston.”

Houston District I Councilmember James Rodriguez offered a fair and useful retort to Ms. Lawrence’s views. Here is what Mr. Rodriguez said—

“During our City Council meeting this week, my colleague, Council Member Toni Lawrence made reference to the 23 month old child who died of Swine Flu in a local hospital. She emphasized that “The child was not a United States citizen” and added that “we need to do things for Houston and not for anybody else.” Consequently, those comments have negatively alarmed many residents throughout the city. Now is not the time for rhetoric that could potentially have a negative impact on public health. Now is not the time to inject a person’s immigration status in this very critical issue. If an individual is showing symptoms, we want them to seek immediate medical treatment without fear of being questioned of their immigration status….”

However, Councilman Rodriguez has not been so welcoming of a new home for the homeless in Houston that has been planned for construction in his district. He asserted the following position after the murder of a homeless person near where the home has been proposed.

“I am not against homeless initiatives. I do support them. I just think this area and this part of my district has enough on its plate right now,” said Rodriguez.”

Councilmember Rodriguez has in the past argued that his district has a number of these type facilities already.

I’m sure Mr. Rodriguez is fair to say that his district has many of these homes. Yet a frequent argument about our undocumented population and about further immigration to the United States is that we have enough of those folks here already.

I don’t think compassion stops at our borders and I don’t think compassion stops at the lines of Mr. Rodriguez ‘s district.

Below—Councilman Rodriguez and the singer Rihanna. Each have umbrellas.


May 5, 2009 - Posted by | Houston, Immigration, Politics | , , , , ,


  1. While you are right that compassion does not stop at our borders, but for politicians’ compassion stops short of everyone except for themselves.

    If Lawrence thinks that we should not have treated the child in our hospitals then what should we have done with him?

    Lawrence should be ashamed of herself. Did she, at any point, offer condolences to the family of the dead child?

    Comment by Saleema | May 5, 2009

  2. i think his comments were stupid but the strain on resources on all systems here is strained from trying to help everyone but americans. I think the child should have been treated no matter what but the money we flow to other countries is really needed here as well as these crap bank bailouts etc.. we need to be compassionate but to our own poor first.

    Comment by bill brady | May 6, 2009

  3. I see what you mean, Bill. Money flowing to corrupt countires keeping their own and other peoples down, especially in the Middle East, needs to stop.

    We also need to hold Pakistan accountable for all the money we have given over the decades. Where the hell has it been going and why haven’t that money been used to improve the lives of the people?

    But a person, espeically a child, should never be denied aid. You only have to have a ounce of compassion in your heart to agree. And I’m glad you agree.

    Comment by Saleema | May 6, 2009

  4. […] which is why she brought it to a vote in city council. This is significant because this is the same councilwoman who felt the child who died in a Houston hospital from H1N1 should not have been treated here […]

    Pingback by » Houston’s New Mayor Police Chief Search Will Set Tone for City’s Immigration Policy - By ¡Para Justicia y Libertad! | January 26, 2010

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