While Ted Cruz Stands on Senate Floor, House Works on Immigration Reform Process
by Bob Price on September 25, 2013 at 3:23 PM
As Senator Ted Cruz wrapped up his historic speech on the floor of the U.S. Senate, House members continue their work on other important issues facing our nation - namely, immigration reform and border security. The House has already done its work to continue the operation of our government by passing its continuing resolution that funds all governmental operations EXCEPT Obamacare and can continue their other work while the Democrats in the Senate decide if they are going to shut down the government.
For too long, we have not dealt with our nation's border security. Nor have we done anything to prevent the massive swell of illegal immigration by fixing our broken immigration system. At the same time, we have allowed a virtual amnesty and massive national security problem to continue by not dealing with finding a solution to identify the 11 to 20 million people who are in this country illegally because of illegal entry or visa overstays.
National Journal reports the House will attack the issues in separate pieces of legislation instead of the massive type of bill passed by the Senate earlier this year. President Obama indicated in an interview with Telemundo that he might be open to this kind of piecemeal approach, which is a change in his prior statements on the issue. "I'm happy to let the House work its will as long as the bill that ends up on my desk speaks to the central issues that have to be resolved," Obama said.
According to the National Journal article, Congressman Mike McCaul (R-TX) is already moving his border security piece through the House by passing his bill out of the Homeland Security committee he chairs with unanamous support. His plan would require the Department of Homeland Security, DHS, to develop a plan that would have to be approved by the Congress which would eliminate 90% of illegal border crossings within 5 years.
Meanwhile, other Republicans are working on what to do with fixing the problem of people who are in this country through visa overstays and entering without inspection. Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) is working on a bill to deal with children who were brought into this country through no fault of their own. "We still need to find the appropriate legal status for those who are not lawfully present and those who, through no fault of their own, were brought into the U.S. by their parents at a young age, but we must have enforcement as a prerequisite," Goodlatte said in a statement.
Politico reports that Goodlatte wants to find an "earned pathway to citizenship" that would not be amnesty. “I wouldn’t give them what I would call a special pathway to citizenship,” Goodlatte said at a House Republican Conference event marking Hispanic Heritage Month. “I would give them an earned pathway to citizenship.”
“We have to find the appropriate legal status for people who are not lawfully here,” said Goodlatte, a former immigration attorney. He has repeatedly rejected the so-called 'special pathway to citizenship' that he contends is in the Senate Gang of Eight bill — a sweeping piece of legislation that passed that chamber in June.
The committee chairman – whose moves are being closely scrutinized by immigration advocates – stressed that House Republicans were still committed to a rewrite of U.S. immigration laws, and that bills that have cleared his panel need to be voted on “the sooner the better” by the full House.
Members of the Texas delegation in the House are also working on several plans. Congressmen John Carter and Ted Poe both have bills they are working on related to border security and reforming our broken immigration system. TexasGOPVote will bring you more details on these as they develop through House processes in October.
As Battleground Texas moves to attempt to turn Texas blue in the coming elections, what happens in Washington could have direct impact. Typically Hispanic voter turnout is relatively low, but that is changing. Perhaps one reason why Hispanics don't come to the polls in large numbers is they feel they have no place to go. Hispanics are naturally conservative which would lead many to not want to vote for the radical left policies of Democrats. However, Republicans have been scaring many Hispanics away from voting conservative values with hostile rhetoric towards immigrants.
Forbes magazine talks about America's political destiny could well be shaped by this battle for Texas. Fortunately, Republican Party of Texas Chairman Steve Munisteri has helped move the party to a much more favorable position in regards to Hispanic and other minority group voters.
Forbes states, "But something unexpected is happening. The more Latino Texas gets the more Republican it is trending. Latinos are making themselves right at home in a welcoming GOP. Red, not blue, is winning. This is not happening by accident."
Explaining what the consequences of a blue Texas would mean to presidential elecion politics Munisteri told Forbes,“There are 18 states that haven’t gone Republican in 25 years. Together they total 240 electoral votes. All the Democrats have to do is swing Texas, with its 38 Electoral College votes. Then they have an Electoral College majority. They don’t have to worry about the rest of the country.”
Munisteri told Texas Monthly in an interview, “The key to Republican success in the future is to reach out to Hispanic, African American, and Asian voters … because the state is growing increasingly diverse. The failure to do that will result, in the not-too-distant future, in this turning from a Republican state to a swing state.”
All in all, we have our hands full in this battle to solve border security and immigration reform issues while accomplishing this with bold ideas that will resonate with the existing Republican base while attracting the new voters we need to keep Texas as the voice of national conservative politics.