Members Of Congress Join Houston Advocacy Groups To Call For Immigration Reform

A coalition of groups was joined by three members of Congress in Houston today to call for comprehensive immigration reform. The call comes the same day as a bipartisan group of senators presented its plan of immigration reform, and a day before the president’s expected speech on the same issue.

“My name is Cesar Espinosa. I am undocumented and unafraid and I will continue to fight for my community!”

Espinosa is the executive director of FIEL, an immigration advocacy group. He was brought to the United States as a 4-year-old and graduated from the University of Houston. His organization is part of 19 civic, immigration and labor groups who have joined together under the name Houston for Commonsense Immigration Reform.

“We’re looking for leadership from our Congress, we’re looking for leadership from our president, but we also know that from us we need to see action.”

That’s Elsa Caballero with the Service Employees International Union. She says among the coalition’s demands are a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants and a secure border to keep out criminals. She says the coalition will be contacting lawmakers and mobilizing voters.

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Houston’s Democratic Congressman Gene Green says what the bipartisan group of senators is proposing and what President Obama may announce sounds good.

“But we have to work hard and keep the pressure up, not only in the Senate but also in the House of Representatives, which you all know is majority Republican.”

Green was joined by fellow Democratic Reps. Al Green and Sheila Jackson Lee.

Caballero says she did reach out to Republican lawmakers as well and that she’s hopeful that more Republicans will join the effort.

“We’re not going to be able to do this with having the same people only supporting it. We need this to become a nonpartisan issue.” 

Republican Sen. Ted Cruz issued the following statement regarding today’s bipartisan immigration reform proposal:

I appreciate the good work that senators in both parties have put into trying to fix our broken immigration system. There are some good elements in this proposal, especially increasing the resources and manpower to secure our border and also improving and streamlining legal immigration. However, I have deep concerns with the proposed path to citizenship. To allow those who came here illegally to be placed on such a path is both inconsistent with rule of law and profoundly unfair to the millions of legal immigrants who waited years, if not decades, to come to America legally.


Florian Martin

Florian Martin

Business Reporter

Florian Martin is currently the News 88.7 business reporter. Florian’s stories can frequently be heard on other public radio stations throughout Texas and on NPR nationwide. Some of them have earned him awards from Texas AP Broadcasters, the Houston Press Club, National Association of Real Estate Editors, and Public Radio...

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