Illegal immigrants wishing to remain in the United States have found an ally in Texas’ senior senator. Earlier this week US Sen. John Cornyn announced his support for cutting a deal with Democrats to provide amnesty to almost one million illegal immigrants, 124,000 of whom are believed to reside in Texas.
Currently, Cornyn and other establishment lawmakers are pushing for Congress to legalize an unconstitutional action taken by then-President Barack Obama providing amnesty to illegal immigrants brought to the United States as children.
The unconstitutional program was quickly challenged in federal court by conservative state attorneys general, but was on appeal when President Donald Trump was sworn in.
Though he promised to rescind the program “on day one” during his presidential campaign, Trump continued the policy for roughly 10 months until the threat of legal action by a coalition of conservative state attorneys general – led by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton – threatened to push forward on the case.
Paxton’s coalition led the Trump administration to announce it would “wind down” the program by refusing to offer additional waivers—a maneuver that essentially set it to expire in March of 2018.
Since then, establishment Republicans have been trying to work with Democrats in order to pass legislation authorizing the program. Speaking on the floor of the U.S. Senate, Cornyn made no attempt to hide his plans, saying:
The fourth [item] on my ‘To Do List,’ our ‘To Do List,’ is addressing the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA. We will recall that back a few years ago now, President Obama decided to try to unilaterally issue an order providing work permits and legal status to roughly 800,000 children, now adults, who came with their parents illegally to the United States.
I am confident that both sides can come to an agreement regarding the legal status of 800,000 individuals who were brought to the country illegally while they were still quite young, and that includes 124,000 DACA recipients in my state of Texas alone.
In an attempt to sell the plan to Republican voters, Cornyn has said any deal would require Democrats to support a significant appropriation towards border security measures.
But conservatives– having heard, made, and been burned by such deals before – voted en masse for Donald Trump and Texas’ other U.S. senator, Ted Cruz, largely because they pledged to hold firm on refusing to support amnesty for illegal immigrants.
Texans are frustrated with lawmakers who promise to fight for their interests on the campaign trail, but fail to do so once they take office—that’s why so many members of the Texas House are facing primary challenges or heading for the hills in fear of them this March.
Cornyn would do well to remember that he dodged a bullet in 2014 when US Rep. Louie Gohmert and other viable candidates opted not to challenge him in the primary. Should he repeatedly side with the swamp in Washington, he may not be so lucky in 2020.