GOP Congressman John Carter: Republican Elections More Important Than Passing Immigration Reform

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The Republican House Chairman of the Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee shared some very candid thoughts with Roll Call as to why he now suddenly opposes passing a comprehensive immigration reform bill this year.

U.S. Congressman John Carter, (R – Round Rock), who last year was part of the House Group of Eight — a bipartisan group of House Representatives working on an immigration reform bill — now says Republican primaries and elections are more important than passing immigration reform.

“I personally think this is the wrong time from our standpoint to go forward on immigration,” Carter said. “It's an election year. I mean Texas is in the middle of primaries right now.”

Carter, who is a critical figure from the Republican side in pushing for immigration reform, is putting politics and his own re-election before one of Texas' biggest social and economic interests — fixing our broken immigration system. Carter is afraid of potential retaliation from Tea Party voters if immigration reform passes this year.

Read more of what Carter and Texas Democrats have to say below the jump.“I'm opposed to voting on a bill this year,” said Carter. “I was in conference when John announced that. It was a surprise to me as much as it was a surprise to anybody else.”

This is what Carter had to say just last year as a member of the House Group of Eight:

“We have four conservative Republicans and four liberal Democrats that have spent nearly four years, meeting privately and without distractions, hammering out a comprehensive immigration bill. The American people want to see Congress work together and this bill will show that it can be done and done right,” said Congressman Carter.

Wanting to leave a window for another change-of-mind, Carter insists that, if pressured, he will continue to contribute to the immigration reform policy discussion, and may not oppose bills if they did happen to come up to the floor.

Texans deserve a leader that will put politics aside for the greater interests of our state.

Below the press statement by the Texas Democratic Party on Carter's immigration move and their efforts to pressure Carter to solidify his support:

For Immediate Release

February 20, 2014

Contact: Emmanuel Garcia,


Texas Democrats Take on U.S. Representative John Carter on Immigration Reform

Austin, TX– The Republican Party continues to stall on immigration reform because of politics, not policy. In January, U.S. Rep. John Carter told Roll Call, “I personally think this is the wrong time from our standpoint to go forward on immigration. It's an election year. I mean Texas is in the middle of primaries right now.”

The Texas Democratic Party launched automated calls into Rep. Carter's district, contacting a universe of 15,000 constituents. Hundreds of recipients responded to demand Rep. Carter support comprehensive immigration reform now.

Texas Democratic Party Communications Director Emmanuel Garcia issued the following statement:

“Texans know that comprehensive immigration reform is supported by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and would lift 11 million undocumented workers out of the underground economy.  Moreover, it will advance wages for every American and generate billions in additional tax revenue. Comprehensive immigration reform is good for Texas' future and good for America's economy. It keep families together, and give hope to so many in legal limbo. We urge the entire congressional delegation, to listen to their constituents and put the needs of Texas before election year politics.”



About Author

Omar Araiza

Staff writer Omar Araiza covers immigration, Latino voters, the U.S.-Mexico border, and LGBT issues. He is a proud South Texas native, born and raised in the lower Rio Grande Valley. Omar tweets from @AraizaTX.

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