Politico reports that Texas Sen. John Cornyn is part of a Republican group “privately discussing the contours” of a Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) deal, but color me skeptical. Now, advocates would be glad to be proven wrong, but there’s a reason why Cornyn has been awarded the “Biggest Hypocrite on Immigration” trophy by immigrant rights group America’s Voice.
For example, Cornyn’ll offer up optimistic words—or say he’s working on a DACA deal—but when humane immigration proposals have come up, he’s helped derail them. When the DREAM Act passed the House and went to the Senate in 2010, Cornyn opposed it. Then at the Hispanic Leadership Network conference a month later, he “had the audacity to portray himself as a dedicated supporter of immigration reform.” So, take this report with a grain of salt:
“There’s a solution to be had there,” Cornyn said. “But we just need to get on
A bipartisan DACA deal is in no way imminent. Democrats are waiting for Republicans to offer their list of demands in exchange for legalizing Dreamers. And an immigration package that gets through the Senate, even with GOP sweeteners, may have trouble in the more conservative House.
But some outlines of an agreement are becoming clearer. For instance, the senators have all but ruled out including a mandatory workplace verification system known as E-Verify in a final DACA agreement, according to multiple lawmakers engaged in the talks.
Ideas that do remain in contention among this circle of Republicans include beefed-up border security provisions, limiting some chain migration and measures that one senator described as a “down payment” on shifting the U.S. immigration laws into a merit-based system, according to GOP senators. A spokesman said Grassley is gathering suggestions from other Senate Republicans on not only a DACA fix but enforcement provisions to “address the root cause of illegal immigration.”
Never mind that “apprehensions at the border are at their lowest levels since the 1970s” and that we already shell out $20 billion annually for federal immigration enforcement. What undocumented immigrant youth need is an end to political games, and that includes Cornyn dangling a deal on a string when Congress can call for a clean vote on the DREAM Act tomorrow.