On the heels of President Obama’s statements on immigration and a plan from the Gang of Eight bi-partisan Senate committee, two national lawmakers from Texas are offering their input on what immigration should look like over the coming years.
This week the president introduced his plans for what could become comprehensive immigration reform, which include:
- Streamlining the complex immigration process
- Penalizing businesses that hire the undocumented
- Strengthening border security
Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, while not entirely against the president’s plan or the bi-partisan Senate plan, equates granting citizenship before controlling the flow of undocumented immigration to "putting the cart in front of a horse."
"I don’t support an amnesty," said Cornyn. "I think it’s unfair for people who’ve tried to play by the rules and have been waiting patiently in line to enter the country according to the current law or for people to break in line ahead of them."
Instead of using current citizenship methods like the diversity lottery, where applicants are randomly selected, Cornyn proposes offering a green card to immigrants who obtain a master’s degree in a stem field.
Cornyn is on the Senate Committee on the Judiciary and says he'll be involved in any debate that crafts the full legislation.
On the House side, Rep. Lloyd Doggett, D-Texas, said the key to reform is providing a path to citizenship and keeping families together.
"In the House, we still have too many of my Republican colleagues that are encumbered by years of anti-immigrant rhetoric," Doggett said. "Unless the Senate comes together on a bi-partisan plan, we cannot get this job done."