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Cornyn on Immigration debate




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May 9, 2013 | 884 views | 7 comments

‘Our conversation about America’s immigration system is, at core, about people’

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) spoke today ahead of Senate Judiciary Committee’s consideration of the immigration reform bill. His full remarks are below:

“Mr. Chairman we obviously all bring our own unique experiences to this discussion, but my congratulations to the Gang of 8 for their constructive work, but now is the time for the other 92 members of the United States Senate to weigh in and I hope we’ll have a process that allows all of us to contribute.

“It’s, I think, notable, that we have 43 new Senators in the Senate since the last time we took up a comprehensive immigration bill in 2007, so there’s a lot of people who know a lot about this topic, and a lot of people who are engaging in this subject perhaps anew.

“People come to America for many different reasons. Of course, as we are sometimes painfully reminded, not everyone comes with good intentions. But the vast majority of immigrants--both legal and illegal--come because they want to make a better life for themselves and their families.

“America is a welcoming nation that rewards hard work and the entrepreneurial spirit. That spirit and work ethic is alive and well in Texas, where we continue to grow the economy and add jobs. In Texas we welcome hard-working people who are willing to take a risk and start a business, people who start with nothing and lift themselves up and help their families live a better life.

“Our conversation about America’s immigration system is, at core, about people--and we must never forget that.

“It’s about the Mexican-American landowners and ranchers in the Rio Grande Valley, many of whom have called the border region their home for generations.

“It’s about the Vietnamese restaurant owner in Houston whose daughter works as a hostess when she’s home from college on break.

“It’s about the Salvadorans working in the kitchen who hope to save up enough money to open their own restaurant someday.

“It’s about the gifted young technologist from China who wants to be the next Michael Dell or Andy Grove.

“It’s about dreams and success stories, but it’s also about heartache and tragedy.

“It’s about the family of illegal immigrants terrorized by violent street gangs, who refuse to call the police out of fear their encounters with law enforcement could lead to their deportation.

“It’s about a young woman from Nicaragua who pays a coyote thousands of dollars to illegally cross the U.S.-Mexico border, only to be exploited as a victim of modern-day slavery.

“These are uncomfortable, and emotional issues but we cannot ignore them. This is a debate that cannot be guided by emotion alone though.

“This debate is about our most deeply-held values. One of those is respect for the rule of law. For too long, our immigration laws have gone unenforced and have been violated with impunity. Our effort to fix the broken immigration system must begin at the border--where we must set objective, realistic goals and then meet those goals.

“But as we all know, we can’t solve the problem just at the border alone. Forty percent of our illegal immigration is the result of people who enter the country legally, but never leave when their visa expires. We had passed a law in 1996 mandating an entry-exit system which has never, ever been implemented. We must provide employers with a straightforward, accurate verification system to determine the legal status of new hires.

“It’s our duty to look carefully at every provision of the bill--and to speak up if we disagree and to offer constructive suggestions to improve it.

“So I anticipate a spirited, civil discussion about the bill. But my constituents at their core are pragmatists. That’s because we live with this issue every day of our lives, because of our 1,200 mile common border with Mexico and the fact that about a third of my constituents and Sen. Cruz’s constituents are Hispanic -- who’ve been the benefits of our immigration system and who’ve added immeasurably to our state.

“This legislation makes a number of positive improvements, but there are areas that need to be improved even more. So I look forward to a robust discussion and I trust Mr. Chairman, given the size and the scope of this bill, that you will continue the Committee’s tradition of an open and robust debate. The challenge before us is to get this right and not to simply get it done.”

You can watch video of his speech here.

Senator Cornyn serves on the Finance and Judiciary Committees. He serves as the top Republican on the Judiciary Committee’s Immigration, Refugees and Border Security subcommittee. He served previously as Texas Attorney General, Texas Supreme Court Justice, and Bexar County District Judge.
 
« Previous Blog Entry (May 8, 2013)
 


Your Opinions and Comments
 
American Citizen  
USA  
May 13, 2013 2:22pm
 
 
U.S.A. ... U.S.A. ... Am I racist for thinking America is the place to live? I would like to visit Mexico if only we felt it was safe.
 
 
Alvin Charmaine  
May 11, 2013 6:54am
 
 
Wonder how many americans are moving to mexico.
 
 
The Marcelina Muse  
Dry Tank, TX  
May 10, 2013 3:52pm
 
 
New Guy what code would that be? And who has the authority to ask the question? Immigration laws and rules come out of Washington DC. It is unclear if local law enforcement ... Read More Read More
 
 
New Guy  
Wilson County  
May 10, 2013 8:10am
 
 
MyOpinion: Why are you concerned about White House or Congress? How about going after your local government officials? How many local businesses in Wilson County have ... Read More Read More
 
 
Save Floresville  
Here  
May 9, 2013 10:28pm
 
 
As a "Latino" I wish for the same thing and who ever had the guts to stop what is going on would have my vote! I assure you there are many other Latino people ... Read More Read More
 
 
MyOpinion  
Floresville  
May 9, 2013 10:01pm
 
 
I do not understand why illegal aliens are getting medicaid and welfare. Illegals are bankrupting our schools, healthcare system and our government. It would be nice to ... Read More Read More
 
 
Publius Valerius Publicola  
Rome, Tx.  
May 9, 2013 12:44pm
 
 
Seal the border first. Then stop all benefits to non-citizens. E-verify employees. Stiff penalties for employers who violate. No amnesty. Then have a debate on reforming ... Read More Read More
 

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