John Cornyn's Hypocrisy on Immigration Reform

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Oh, John Cornyn, what a perilous position you have put yourself in, trying to advocate for a humane approach to immigration while currying favor with the GOP base.

Yesterday, our senior senator penned an emotional Op-Ed for Fox News, in which he calls on Americans to have sympathy for the horrors faced by undocumented immigrants who come to America for a better chance at life. While his message is true and probably something the Fox News crowd needs to internalize a bit more, it's not as if Cornyn is calling for an actual comprehensive reform policy with a pathway to citizenship.

Read what he wrote and why it's such feckless hypocrisy below the jump.In his op-ed, Cornyn writes:

Last weekend, as I traveled through South Texas, I met some of these people.  The stories they shared with me illustrate the humanity of the immigration debate that all sides must acknowledge.

In Rio Grande City, I met a young woman who came to Texas to escape persecution in El Salvador several years ago. She did so illegally, paying thousands of dollars to be smuggled across the border.  

After arriving in Texas, she fell victim to the same man she had entrusted to bring her into the country. He beat her, raped her, and forced her into a life of prostitution. For years she endured this terror and misery, until she summoned the courage to reach out for help.

Cornyn's essay doesn't really call for any specific policy solutions, and merely opines that “the basic challenge of immigration reform will be to reconcile our compassion as Americans to the fundamental importance of the rule of law, without yielding to either.”

Worst of all, while Cornyn acts like he's an advocate for immigrants who perish in the desert, in reality he has one of the worst records of blocking comprehensive immigration reform in the Senate. Cornyn voted against reform in 2006 and 2007, and voted against the DREAM Act in 2010, all while calling himself a reformer.

At least Ted Cruz is honest about his genuine opposition to any pathway to citizenship. That's right — Ted “son of a Cuban immigrant born in Canada” Cruz, who by his own extreme birtherism isn't eligible to run for President — opposes any pathway to citizenship.

It will be interesting to watch Cornyn try to balance his need to appease an electorate that sent Ted Cruz to the US Senate while also claiming to be sensitive to the experiences of actual undocumented immigrants. In the meantime, it looks like Cornyn is doing all he can to maintain his mantle as “Biggest Hypocrite” award from America's Voices for his constant pandering to both sides on immigration.  

About Author

Katherine Haenschen

Katherine Haenschen is a PhD candidate at the University of Texas, where she studies political participation on digital media. She has previously managed successful candidate, issue, voter registration, and GOTV campaigns in Austin. In addition to serving as the president of Austin Young Democrats, she is also UCONN's #1 fan in Texas.

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