Tags: | Immigration | John Cornyn | immigration | reform | Senate | majority

GOP's John Cornyn Eyes Immigration Reform 'After We Get Majority'

Image: GOP's John Cornyn Eyes Immigration Reform 'After We Get Majority'
U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, Texas Republican. (Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

By    |   Tuesday, 28 Oct 2014 01:48 PM

During a debate with Democratic challenger David Alameel, Texas Sen. John Cornyn said it is time to reach a "consensus" on immigration reform by "finding parts that we agree on," including providing children of illegal immigrants access to education.

"I believe education is the way out," the Republican said.

He added that the children of parents "who did not comply with our immigration laws are guilty of nothing," and "it makes no sense to condemn them to a minimum-wage job for the rest of their lives when they could produce so much more, when they could be so much more. They would benefit, their families would benefit, and our nation would benefit."

The debate, hosted by KUVN and Univision 23, was little more than a formality as the latest CBS News/YouGov poll finds Cornyn with a 57 percent to 35 percent lead over Alameel.

The debate marked the latest in a series of comments and remarks that indicate Cornyn's positions on some aspects of immigration reform are softening.

"We have a broken immigration system and I am one who would like to fix it. We haven't been able to because the president's prescription is 'my way or the highway.' I hope that after we get a majority — which I expect we will in the Senate in January — then we'll be able to break it down in smaller pieces and move it across the Senate and House floor and to the president's desk," Cornyn said in a September interview with WFAA-TV, an ABC affiliate.

Cornyn, who is the ranking member on the Senate Judiciary Committee, recently called for hearings in the wake of reports that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) was releasing more illegal immigrants with criminal backgrounds than previously disclosed, according to The Hill.

Cornyn would be Senate Majority Whip if Republicans gain the majority. He said the changing ethnic makeup in Texas is a reality the GOP must accept.

"I think Republicans have to realize that Texas is evolving. People are voting with their feet and leaving places like California and coming here in droves. That means the ethnic makeup of our state is changing," he told WFAA.

The demographic evolution also impacted how the Cornyn campaign has reached out to voters this campaign.

In addition to attending events with Hispanic and other minority groups, the campaign has run targeted Facebook ads in voters' native languages, and has Spanish-language and Vietnamese websites, according to the Texas Tribune.

While conservatives, including some of his colleagues in the Senate, may take issue with his evolution, some Latino activists say they will vote for him in November.

"I have never voted for [Cornyn], but this time I'm going to because we have no choice," Rene Martinez, a district director for the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), told ThinkProgress.

"The Republican party does not have a platform for Latinos that is true. But we're voting for the man — the individual. We have always been fairly close to Cornyn, and we're going to put enough pressure on him that he's gotta show some leadership," Martinez added.

Watch the video here.


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During a debate with Democrat candidate David Alameel, Texas Sen. John Cornyn said it is time to reach a "consensus" on immigration reform by "finding parts that we agree on," including providing children of illegal immigrants access to education.
John Cornyn, immigration, reform, Senate, majority
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2014-48-28
Tuesday, 28 Oct 2014 01:48 PM
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