Wrapping up their tour stops in Texas this week, immigration reform group, Fast for Families Across America, held a press conference yesterday morning in Temple and Waco with elected officials and constituents belonging to districts represented by GOP Congressmen John Carter (R-Round Rock) and Bill Flores (R-Bryan), calling on the two Republican representatives to make it their mission this year to finally pass immigration reform.
The group and officials chose the congressmen because their constituents have shown to support immigration reform, and because of the members' influence in the House.
Flores previously linked passing reform to “building a sandwich,” yet has failed to do his part by advocating his support.
Carter, the chairman of the House Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee, said earlier this year in an interview he believed Republican elections were more important than passing immigration reform. He said this despite having previously belonged to a House bipartisan group attempting to negotiate a bill.
Read more of the group's efforts below the jump, including a stop in Houston attended by Mayor Annise Parker and Texas state Senator Sylvia Garcia.
Congressmen Flores, Carter and Olson
Last week, Fast for Families Across America held another major press conference in Congressional District 22, represented by Congressman Pete Olson (R-Sugar Land), calling on Olson to support immigration reform. In attendance were Houston Mayor Annise Parker and Texas state Senator Sylvia Garcia.
Parker has consistently voiced her support for immigration reform. Parker also previously participating in a large rally last year, encouraging all those in attendance “Si, se puede” (Yes, it can happen) as hundreds of Houstonians rallied across the city in support of immigration.
Senator Sylvia Garcia plans to fast every Wednesday during lent to show her support for the cause.
Olson's website says Olson does not support “amnesty,” and makes reference to seeing all the “violence” brought to the U.S. by “criminal illegal immigrants.” Olson has previously supporting ending birthright citizenship as to prevent “anchor babies” by amending the 14th Amendment of the Constitution, so that not all children born in the U.S. can be automatically U.S. citizens. Congressman John Carter also signed onto this discriminatory legislation.
Advocates and elected officials hope to show Republicans there is large interest and support by their constituents for comprehensive immigration reform. Texas would be one of the states most economically benefited by fixing our current broken immigration system.
At the moment, an actual vote on a bill is uncertain due to Speaker John Boehner's unwillingness to call legislation up to the floor for a vote. Pressure from the Tea Party seems to be behind the Republicans' leadership failure.
Fast for Families Across America hopes to rile elected officials and constituents in more than 100 congressional districts to show their support for immigration reform. The bus tour will end in Washington, D.C. next month, while members are still in session.
Along with Carter, Flores and Olson, the Fast4Families bus tour visited the districts of Blake Farenthold (R-Corpus Christi), and Randy Weber (R-Pearland) earlier last week. The group will be finishing their stops in Texas today, meeting with constituents and officials in Arlington and Plano represented by Congressmen Joe Barton (R-Ennis) and Sam Johnson (R-Plano).