A sampling of editorial opinion around Texas:
The Dallas Morning News on the presidential candidates and immigration reform:
Barely a year ago, illegal immigration was Topic A on America's agenda. It turned CNN's Lou Dobbs into a household name. This newspaper, recognizing the issue's importance, selected the illegal immigrant as our Texan of the Year not because we approved of illegal immigration but because of the huge political and social impact the phenomenon was having on our state.
Boy, did we touch a nerve.
So imagine our outrage that neither Republicans nor Democrats addressed it substantively during their recent national conventions. It was as if Barack Obama and John McCain regarded the entire topic as radioactive. When it comes to answers, the two men running for president either have no new ideas or are too afraid to venture forth with them publicly.
American voters must not allow a leadership vacuum to persist on a problem of this magnitude.
Mr. McCain, trying hard not to offend his conservative base, says he would not vote for the comprehensive immigration reform bill that he himself introduced in the Senate. Mr. Obama has committed only to deal with illegal immigration sometime before the end of his first term. Instead of debating solutions before the voting public, they are punting this as far down the road and away from the elections as they can.
Frustrated state and local governments feel they have no choice but to take unilateral action. The city of Farmers Branch on Saturday plans to begin enforcing a new law requiring apartment or house renters to obtain a $5 license that will enable the city to verify their legal U.S. residency. Irving's Police Department continues to participate in the federal Criminal Alien Program.
Several studies are underway in the Texas Legislature to determine how the state can enact its own enforcement measures. Tyler Republican Rep. Leo Berman promises to spearhead 20 to 30 bills on illegal immigration. The states of Arizona and Oklahoma already are seizing the initiative to ban illegal immigrants from the workplace, sparking retaliatory proposals.
If the presidential candidates are foolish enough to think illegal immigration isn't on voters' minds, they'd better think again. State and local lawmakers recognize voters' outrage. They're acting because lawmakers neither see "change we can believe in" nor "maverick courage" when it comes to progress on comprehensive immigration reform.