LatinaLista — When it comes to waffling on the issue of security in this country, presidential candidates aren’t the only ones doing it.
There is one particular Republican who seems to have multiple personalities when it comes to being in favor or against a fence in Texas’ Rio Grande Valley.
This kind of indecision is to be expected from those politicians so insulated from the southwest that they see the Texas-Mexico border as much of a no man’s land as Iraq and are content to stay safe on familiar turf while buying into Fox News and CNN’s Lou Dobbs’ version of “border terror” in Texas.
But for one Republican there’s no excuse for him to believe the deliberate misinformation and exaggerated facts being spoonfed people — because he’s from Texas.
Yet why does John Cornyn act like Rio Grande Valley constituents, and others who oppose a border wall, don’t read?
Otherwise, why say one thing in Texas and do another in Washington?
Texas Senator Republican John Cornyn
Texas is home to the second largest Latino population in the country. In fact, Latinos comprise the majority minority in the state.
However when it comes to supporting issues that resonate with Latino voters like immigration reform or the DREAM Act or Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), Cornyn has always chosen to ignore his Latino constituents and vote against all these measures.
In a state that leads the country in the percentage of low-income children without health insurance, Cornyn voted against expanding the CHIP program while his Texas colleague Kay Bailey Hutchison, a Republican herself, voted for it.
And in the last vote regarding the DREAM Act, Cornyn voted against it. Again, Hutchison differed with her colleague and voted for it.
At least someone sees that Texas is a multi-ethnic constituency, and that a lot of Latinos actually do have the power to vote.
But Cornyn only remembers that fact when he’s actually in front of Latino Texans.
Back in October, Cornyn addressed Texas’ Border Trade Alliance. At the time, he told those in attendance:
…I have long said that I do not support a fence, or as some said, a wall, between the United States and Mexico. That’s irrational and just doesn’t make sense, because we know that people can come over fences or walls; they can go under them; they can go through them, given sufficient opportunity. And so that’s why it’s so important to have the three legs of the stool: more boots on the ground, more and better technology, and in some hard to control places, we need to have – Border Patrol needs to have some sort of responsible solution to the fencing issue.
It was the kind of response that naturally drew applause from the group of Latino Texans who live and work along the border with Mexico and feel a physical border barrier is bad for business and day-to-day living.
Unfortunately, people believed that Cornyn meant what he said. But if ever there was proof that Washington can make a person have illusions of grandeur, or in politicians’ cases, empower them to do whatever the hell they want without worry over what they’ve promised consituents back home, Cornyn’s latest insult to his state’s Latino population takes the cake.
He is authoring S. 2348, the “Emergency Border Security Funding Act of 2007” or otherwise known as “A bill to ensure control over the United States border and to strengthen enforcement of the immigration laws.”
This bill includes “700 linear miles of fencing as required by the Secure Fence Act of 2006 (Public Law 109-367), as amended by this Act”. It’s also allocating $3 billion to get construction started.
Why this is such a slap in the face to the Rio Grande Valley residents is that since the summer when it was announced that a proposed wall or fence would be erected through wildlife preserves, a college campus, and whole towns, the people of the region have been staging systematic protests against it.
Here at Latina Lista we’ve become aware of this movement and even documented some of these protests. Yet, Cornyn acts like this is all news to him.
As only one of two state senators, Cornyn has to work harder than any other representative, aside from Hutchison, in making sure that he listens to ALL his constituents and not just cherry-picks the issues to please those constituents who have deep pockets.
His actions in Congress, as a representative of the second most populous Latino state in the country, is a blatant disservice to the Latino constituency and he has clearly not performed his duties as a public servant in taking into account who his constituents are and what they are saying.
But he doesn’t seem to care. He’s already back on the campaign trail trying to raise the money he will need to face off his opponent D-Houston Rick Noriega.
In fact, today Cornyn stopped at an Austin call center for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) to show he does support the program.
That vote in Washington against expanding the program, I guess, didn’t count.
Or Cornyn just doesn’t count on people making him accountable for his actions.
Unfortunately for him, those days are disappearing fast.