As Senate leaders are set to announce an agreement on a border security deal, community leaders from key states are escalating pushback against Senators still seen as obstacles to immigration reform passage. In one way or another, Republican Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL), John Cornyn and Ted Cruz (TX), Mark Kirk (R-IL) have created obstacles to the immigration bill, including threatening the path to citizenship for 11 million aspiring Americans.
Both of Texas' Senators remain obstacles to passing immigration reform. This morning, the Senate finally moved to table John Cornyn's anti-citizenship amendment to the Gang of 8 immigration bill. There's a reason we've been calling his amendment a “poison pill“-because it exists to make sure that immigrants will never be able to take the step toward citizenship, a position that immigration reform advocates cannot support.
This afternoon, Fernando Garcia, Executive Director of Border Network for Human Rights (BNHR) in Texas, discussed some of the actions BNHR is planning in-state and also responded to the new deal on border security struck late last night:
Senator John Cornyn proposed an amendment that would hold citizenship hostage to border triggers. One of these was the addition of 10,000 more Border Patrol agents. But yesterday, Senators came to an agreement that would double Cornyn's proposal and mean doubling the current Border Patrol ranks over the course of ten years. This is an outrageous plan that was struck without consulting with people who live and work on the border. It only adds to a system that we all agree is dysfunctional and accountable to the people. The most obscene element of the plan is that it would create a militarized border between allied nations where there is no military conflict. We remind the Senators that more than 6 million people live on the U.S. side of the border and this plan puts their rights, lives and prosperity at risk.