Tuesday, January 29, 2013

The Big Conversation

Texas Tribune
January 29, 2013
by David Muto

A major new federal immigration proposal has corralled bipartisan support, but Texas Republicans aren't biting.

The proposal — unveiled Monday by a group of four Republican and four Democratic U.S. senators — includes a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants and increased border security. The unveiling came a day before President Barack Obama is expected to lay out a plan of his own that is said to be moderately more liberal than the senators' proposal.

But in Texas, the senators' proposal isn't winning much GOP support. Both of the state's U.S. senators, Republicans John Cornyn and Ted Cruz, expressed reservations about the plan.

"There are some good elements in this proposal, especially increasing the resources and manpower to secure our border and also improving and streamlining legal immigration," Cruz said in a statement. "However, I have deep concerns with the proposed path to citizenship. To allow those who came here illegally to be placed on such a path is both inconsistent with rule of law and profoundly unfair to the millions of legal immigrants who waited years, if not decades, to come to America legally."

A spokeswoman for Cornyn told the The Dallas Morning News, "There are many facets to immigration reform, but one that must be addressed first and foremost is our porous border."

In a statement, U.S. Rep. Lamar Smith, a San Antonio Republican and member of the House Judiciary Committee's immigration subcommittee, called the plan "amnesty," adding, "When you legalize those who are in the country illegally, it costs taxpayers millions of dollars, costs American workers thousands of jobs and encourages more illegal immigration."

The opposition from Texas Republicans may mirror the pushback the plan receives from Republicans in Washington, especially in the GOP-controlled House, whose speaker, John Boehner, on Monday offered a tepid response to the proposal.


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