As a bipartisan group of eight senators prepares to release a painstakingly-crafted bipartisan comprehensive immigration bill they think can needle its way through the political and procedural gauntlet in Washington, it seems that Texas' senior Senator John Cornyn and Republican Rep. Michael McCaul have been busy brainstorming ways to ensure that a comprehensive immigration plan doesn't get off the ground.
On a conference call this week, Cornyn and McCaul indicated that certain (totally unrealistic) border security metrics would have to be met before they would contemplate a broader effort that includes a path to citizenship for the millions of undocumented immigrants who are currently living in the United States. They filed a bill, the Border Security Results Act, that they say would help the United States government achieve those metrics (I won't get into those metrics here).
Congressman Pete Gallego (TX-23), whose district shares the largest border with Mexico in the United States, slammed Cornyn and McCaul for their proposal:
“With about 800 miles of Texas-Mexico border in the district, I know the border impacts every part of our state. I'm hopeful that this bill is a good faith effort to move forward and not an attempt to build another wall between immigrants and the American dream.
“Voters made it clear in November that Congress must act on real immigration reform now – and not a sham packaged as progress. Small businesses, chambers, and families across our state are counting on it.
“Reducing border wait times is something for which businesses and border lawmakers have long advocated. I'm glad our senior senator is now onboard. He can do much to allocate the resources to make reduced wait times possible.”
Congressman Gallego's statement is right on target. It's too early to be drawing lines in the sand on immigration reform.