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John Cornyn’s Latest Whopper on Immigration

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The “Cornyn Con” is now laced with cowardice


We have labeled the distance between what Senator John Cornyn says and how he votes the “Cornyn Con,” or in Spanish, “La Farsa Cornyn.” And wow, do we have another good example to add to the litany of Cornyn’s hypocrisy, lies, and cowardice on immigration.

In an editorial board interview with the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Senator Cornyn portrayed himself as an opponent of President Trump’s raid of billions of dollars appropriated by Congress for the military that Trump seized and put toward the border wall using the pretext of a national emergency declaration. 

Cornyn’s voting record and public statements show the exact opposite. 

In September 2019, Congress attempted to overturn Trump’s emergency declaration and 12 Senate Republicans voted against Trump, but Senator Cornyn was not among them. Instead, he sided with Trump and voted against the joint resolution. Cornyn then was conveniently absent for the October 2019 Senate vote seeking to overturn President Trump’s veto of the joint resolution. Cornyn also delivered a series of public statements in support of Trump’s wall money grab (see here). As a reminder, as the Texas Tribune reported, “about $265 million for construction and other projects on military bases in Texas could be diverted to build walls on the southern border.”

The willful misrepresentation of his own actual immigration record is classic Cornyn and echoes his recent effort to pretend he supports Dreamers. As a refresher, Cornyn issued a recent Spanish language ad that he “strongly supports legalization for Dreamers,” despite voting against bipartisan proposals to secure legal status for Dreamers in 2006, 2007, 2010, 2013 and 2018. 

When caught with evidence of his transparent hypocrisy, Cornyn claimed he has evolved and now supports a standalone bill to legalize Dreamers – despite not using his Senate leadership to advance such a bill, which has been sitting on Mitch McConnell’s (and John Cornyn’s) desk for over a year.

According to Mario Carrillo, the Texas-based Campaigns Manager for America’s Voice: 

Senator Cornyn is a reliable Trump ally on immigration day in and day out, not the independent voice he claims to be when talking to voters at election time. Despite his supposed support for Dreamers and opposition to Trump’s raiding of military funding to build the wall, Senator Cornyn’s voting record shows his utter complicity. 

I don’t take the Senator at his word that he privately fought Trump and the White House to protect Dreamers and avoid raiding military budgets, but even that overly charitable interpretation drives home the point that Cornyn has been ineffective as the second most powerful Republican Senator in actually delivering what he pretends to care about.

The simplest explanation is usually the right one: John Cornyn is in a tough re-election fight in a rapidly diversifying and competitive Texas and he knows the unpopularity of his real record of opposing Dreamers and siding with Trump in stealing military money to build the stupid wall. 

It’s another classic ‘Cornyn Con,’ mixed in with mountains of hypocrisy, cowardice and lies. And just another reminder why Texas deserves better.