Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) has been named the Chair of the Immigration Subcommittee of the Senate Judiciary Committee for this Congress. We know him all too well.
Over the years, Cornyn has talked a lot about immigration – and talked and talked — but rarely does he translate his relatively positive rhetoric into anything approaching positive action. For example, in 2013, Cornyn positioned himself as a player in the Senate debate, but as is his pattern his maneuvering wasn’t to advance the bill, it was to undermine the bill. Fortunately, serious Democrats and Republicans, long familiar with his act, blew past him and passed by a strong bill in a bipartisan basis by a margin of 68 – 32. All hat — no cattle Cornyn? He was one of those 32 No votes.
This is but one in a long series of Cornyn deceitful moves. That’s why America’s Voice gave Cornyn a lifetime achievement award that we dubbed “The Biggest Hypocrite on Immigration.” This was back in 2011. As Frank Sharry noted then back the, “While [Cornyn] continues to talk a good game about the need for common sense immigration reform, every single time it’s mattered, Senator Cornyn has voted the wrong way.” And this is before his twists and turns — and no vote — in 2013
This week, Senator Dick Durbin, who is the ranking Democrat on the Immigration Subcommittee, wrote to Cornyn asking him to hold hearings on some of the most controversial aspects of Trump’s anti-immigrant agenda, including the Muslim ban and the Deportation Force. Via Seung Min Kim at Politico:
A top Senate Democrat is calling on Republicans to hold hearings into the trio of controversial immigration executive orders from President Donald Trump.
In a new letter being released Thursday, Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) asked Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-Texas) to examine the series of executive actions, including the order focused on refugees and immigrants from Muslim-majority nations that are on hold, for now, by the courts.
The two veteran senators are the new leaders of the Senate subcommittee on immigration for the 115th Congress.
“These executive orders, which have dramatic implications for our immigration system, are inconsistent with America’s heritage as a nation of immigrants and a safe haven for those fleeing persecution,” Durbin wrote to Cornyn in the letter, obtained by POLITICO in advance of its release. “The subcommittee has an urgent responsibility to address the serious questions that have been raised about the legality, efficacy and morality of these orders.”
In addition, in the letter, which can be viewed here, Durbin pointed out how Cornyn has, in the past, asked for additional oversight hearings on immigration policy. Of course, that was when Obama was President.
Oversight is a solemn responsibility of Congress. After all, Trump’s policies are controversial, unpopular and being challenged in the Courts. The question is whether Cornyn will actually do his job as Committee Chair and hold oversight hearings — as he’s requested in the past. Or, will Cornyn, once again,live up to his well-deserved reputation as the biggest hypocrite on immigration.