Rep. Byron Cook (R–Corsicana) has long been responsible for killing legislation aimed at addressing illegal immigration. Now one of Cook’s colleagues in the House is blaming Cook for the death of a bill designed to stop Texas public universities from giving in-state tuition benefits to illegal aliens.

At an Austin festival, Rep. Jonathan Stickland (R–Bedford) revealed that Cook, who serves as chairman of the powerful House State Affairs Committee, singlehandedly killed his bill. Before the most recent session, Stickland filed HB 209, which was designed to reverse a policy adopted by the legislature in 2001 that gave in-state tuition benefits to illegal aliens. When his bill was finally referred to Cook’s committee in March, Stickland personally asked Cook for a hearing.

“You are not going to get one for that bill,” Cook told Stickland.

The bill to repeal in-state tuition for illegal aliens was not given a hearing and it died in Cook’s committee. Meanwhile, Cook was working on his own bill to give drivers permits to illegal aliens.

In a fundraising appeal earlier this year, amnesty supporters called Byron Cook their “best friend” in the Texas legislature.

Byron Cook has a long history of opposing reforms directed at curbing illegal immigration. In 2011, Gov. Rick Perry called a special session of the legislature to pass laws banning so-called “sanctuary cities.” Cook killed the bill in his committee. He has successfully opposed similar reforms in the sessions since, and can be expected to do so if allowed to remain in office.

Tony McDonald

Tony McDonald serves as General Counsel to Texas Scorecard. A licensed and practicing attorney, Tony specializes in the areas of civil litigation, legislative lawyering, and non-profit regulatory compliance. Tony resides in Austin with his wife and daughter and attends St. Paul Lutheran Church.