The Houston Chronicle Editorial Calls on Republicans to Act, but Sen. Cornyn Remains Absent on Immigration Reform
In a new piece, the Houston Chronicle Editorial Board is calling on Republicans to support President Biden’s sweeping immigration reform bill that would provide a pathway for millions of immigrants with deep roots in this country to continue to boost the economy, start small businesses, and fight on the frontlines against COVID-19. Not only does this bill represent an opportunity to enact critical reform, the legislation is broadly popular and in line with the more than three quarters of Americans who support immigration. But, as the editorial points out, even though it’s evident that this bill is economically advantageous, morally just, and politically popular, Republicans like Senator John Cornyn, who have previously feigned support for immigration reform, refuse to take action or engage.
The Biden proposal is good for Texas and the country. In this moment Sen. Cornyn has the opportunity to finally follow through on his hollow promises for meaningful immigration reform. We’ve called him out in the past for pretending to be a champion of immigration and scuttling previous reform attempts. Now, he and other Republicans are being called out by the Houston Chronicle editorial board and the American people: will he come to the table and bring Republicans with him.
Mario Carrillo, Texas-based campaigns manager for America’s Voice:
The Cornyn Con is back! Fresh from telling a pack of election lies about wanting to legalize Dreamers, John Cornyn has once again returned to Washington to obstruct, block and slow down any and all immigration measures, including those to help young immigrants.
Just a few months ago, John Cornyn ran an ad, in Spanish, saying he supported a standalone bill that provided citizenship for Dreamers. But is he a sponsor of that or any immigration bill? Of course not.
Pro-immigrant talk in Texas, anti-immigrant actions in Washington. That’s the Cornyn Con.
Democrats are begging Republicans to work with them in a bipartisan fashion on immigration, yet so far, there are few Republicans willing to buck the Trump playbook to say anything other than immigrants and immigration are the GOP’s number 1 political target now and in 2022.
Sen. Cornyn has seemingly disappeared from the conversation. Providing citizenship to millions of immigrants will not only benefit Texas, but the entire country. So we’re paging John Cornyn. The time to do the right thing and to take action is now.
The Houston Chronicle Editorial is excerpted below and available in full here:
“The American people have spoken. Polls show the vast majority, around three-fourths, want immigration reform. They’ve been saying so for more than a decade and the calls have only gotten louder. Congress needs to finally listen.
Some Republicans in Congress will not be able to. They’ve become deaf to anything but the nativism that has seized much of the party.
These immigration hardliners must not, however, be allowed to spoil the chance for true reform, as they have so often in the past, including under Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush. Instead, the voices of moderate Republicans, and those from states such as Texas where the benefits of immigration are so vibrantly on display, must join with Democrats to reach a filibuster-proof majority. Surely, 10 Republicans are willing to compromise. Surely, 10 Republicans are willing to do something that’s both popular and which makes moral and economic sense.
…This would immediately bring out of the shadows millions who already work, pay taxes and contribute to our economy and provide a pathway toward full integration.
…Polls show 77 percent of Americans believe immigration is good for the country and more than 70 percent back a plan for legal status for undocumented immigrants.
In Texas alone, undocumented immigrants paid an estimated $2.6 billion in federal taxes and $1.6 billion in state and local taxes in 2018, according to the American Immigration Council. Texas DACA recipients and DACA-eligible immigrants paid an additional $244.7 million in state and local taxes.
At least one-fifth of business owners in Texas’ big cities are immigrants; in the Houston area, it’s more than half.
…Through the years, Congress has let too many opportunities for reform pass by without action. This time must be different.”