LatinaLista — Advocates for comprehensive immigration reform are going to have to light a few more holy candles and pray to their favorite patron saints if they want to see the Senate bring back the bill for debate.
It seems several Republican senators are already making it known that they have no intention of supplying their votes for the needed 60 votes required to resurrect the bill.
Ironically, two of those senators who still don’t understand the role the current 12 million undocumented immigrants have in our economy and local communities, hail from Texas – a state that is second only to California in being called home by undocumented immigrants.
Senators Kay Bailey Hutchison and John Cornyn have already declared their opposition to creating a bill that recognizes the reality of having 12 million people living, working and raising families in this country.
Depending on how you look at it, their stance on the bill is either ironic or sad when the realities of today’s Texas are taken into consideration.
For a state where minorities outnumber Anglos, the two Anglo Senators are increasingly distancing themselves from a part of their constituency that deserves to be heard.
For example, a coalition from El Paso called the US/Mexico Border and Immigration Task Force traveled to Washington DC this week to talk to Congress members about their concerns regarding the immigration bill.
DC press conference of the US/Mexico Border and Immigration Task Force
(Source: El Paso Times)
Comprised of public officials, law enforcement officials and immigrant advocates who know firsthand what life is like on the border, the group presented what they felt needed to be addressed in any new debate on immigration reform:
The need for an immigration reform that includes family reunification, labor protection, a new workers program, and legalization for the undocumented immigrants in the US.
Training and accountability issues related to federal agents enforcing immigration laws.
The negative economic and social impact of a fencing program in border communities.
Discussions about the role of local law enforcement agencies with regards to the application of the Federal immigration laws.
The connection between border enforcement operations and the deaths of migrants.
The Task Force met with several congressmen, but not either one of the two senators from their state of Texas received the group.
For a state whose economy and society is so entertwined with the labor and consumerism of the undocumented, it doesn’t make sense that neither Senator is willing to work for a solution that would not only create stability to countless communities under siege from immigration raids and profiling but close a painful chapter in this nation’s history that has not only divided the country but threatens to resurrect another chapter in history of when underground railroads and ordinary citizens risked their lives and livelihoods to help a people they knew to be persecuted unjustly.
Today’s Senators have a choice: Either make history by joining forces to work out a bill or be remembered by history for not doing anything soon enough.