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Senator Cornyn Proposes New Immigration and Border Security Bill

Senator John Cornyn is in Houston to talk about his proposed legislation for immigration reform. The senator says the country needs stronger border security coupled with comprehensive legal reform to address the issue of illegal immigration. Senator John Cornyn is the chairman of the Immigration, Border Security and Citizenship subcommitee and plans to file legislation […]

Senator John Cornyn is in Houston to talk about his proposed legislation for immigration reform. The senator says the country needs stronger border security coupled with comprehensive legal reform to address the issue of illegal immigration.

Senator John Cornyn is the chairman of the Immigration, Border Security and Citizenship subcommitee and plans to file legislation on comprehensive immigration enforcement. Cornyn was in town to speak to the Houston World Affairs Council where he told the audience the federal government must consider the nation’s security and economy when addressing illegal immigration.

Cornyn says closing the nation’s borders would seriously weaken the U.S. economy. Instead, he advocates passage of the Central American Free Trade Agreement, or CAFTA. He says CAFTA will help stabilize the fragile Central American democracies which he says could result in fewer people seeking better opportunities here.

Critics of CAFTA argue the deal would boost some Central American exports, but would carry few benefits for the poor in the region who are the most likely to illegally immigrate. Cornyn admits there is no simple solution to the problems facing immigrants. But he says one way of equalizing the system would be to offer a temporary guest worker program providing three year visas to those who qualify.

Cornyn’s plan would also nearly double the size of Border Patrol. It authorizes about 10,000 new Border Patrol agents and 1,000 immigration inspectors over the next five years. Senators John McCain and Edward Kennedy also have an immigration reform bill. The issue could come up on for debate on the Senate floor within a month or two. Cornyn says he hopes to have legislation on the President’s desk by the end of the year.

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Laurie Johnson

Laurie Johnson

Executive Producer for News

Laurie Johnson leads daily news coverage for HPM. She helps reporters craft and sharpen their stories on tight deadlines, with the aim of getting the most relevant and current information into local newscasts. Laurie is a native Houstonian who started her career at Houston Public Media in 2002. She is...

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