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As Democrats Gear Up to Deliver Common Sense and Long Overdue Immigration Reforms, the “Cornyn Con” Begins Step Three

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The perfected art of delay, obfuscate and blame 

Washington, DC – As leading Democrats from across the party express their support for the inclusion of pathways to citizenship in the budget agreement, Senator John Cornyn and Republicans are reacting in their predictable ways.

Senator Cornyn tells CNN the following about the inclusion of immigration reform in the Democrats’ budget agreement: 

You got to be careful what you ask for around here because they’re going to own it. And that’s a very challenging issue … There’s a reason we haven’t been able to deal with it most of the time since I’ve been here in Congress. So, if they decide to do it that way, then they’ll own it.

One major reason we “haven’t been able to deal with” immigration is you, John Cornyn!

His latest comments fall neatly into Step Three of the “Cornyn Con.” It’s the same playbook he’s followed in 2006, 2007, 2010, 2013 and 2018. It goes like this: 

  1. Step one: Cornyn positions himself as a player and a potential dealmaker in bipartisan immigration negotiations;
  2. Step two: Cornyn proposes the outline of a deal and a way forward; this makes him look like he wants to get to yes and attracts positive press attention; but the “offer” is purposefully designed to get Democrats to say no;
  3. Step three: Cornyn declares he’s operating in good faith, but Democrats are being partisan; he makes an ultimatum that unless he gets his way, there will be no progress; 
  4. Step four: Cornyn loudly calls out Democrats; he blames them for “blowing up bipartisanship,” all the while high-fiving with McConnell and Cruz and others in the back room for getting to no and “both-sidesing” the blame game. 

Cornyn is now moving from Step Two to Step Three. He’s so predictable.

And in response to another component of Cornyn’s CNN quote: Democrats welcome “owning” the most popular component of the immigration debate – citizenship for Dreamers, TPS holders, and farm workers and other essential workers. These proposals enjoy bipartisan public support. Approximately 70% of Americans, including a majority of independents and Republicans, want Congress to produce results. 

According to Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice: 

Good on Democrats for moving decisively on their own to achieve a breakthrough. It’s long overdue for America to formally recognize undocumented immigrants as the Americans they already are. 

Democrats should blow past the bad faith of Republicans like John Cornyn, who are driven to stop Democratic policy advances in hopes of reclaiming political power. Cornyn is pretending yes so he can get to no and ‘both-sides’ the blame game.

Forget GOP gamesmanship. If Democrats use their power, they will change lives, make voters happy, and make history.