NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) - President Obama's former advisor says it was probably a mistake that the Commander in Chief's immigration plan was made public. Regardless, Democratic state Representative Rafael Anchia (Dallas District 103) says it's time for immigration reform.
"Our broken immigration system has very negative impacts on a number of states, like Texas. So what we need to do is create a system that matches willing workers with willing employers, in a legal and transparent system."
Just last week, Anchia and Houston-District 143 Representative Ana Hernandez Luna filed a comprehensive immigration reform resolution in Austin. "Make sure that people play by the rules, that they undergo background checks, that they learn English and American civics. Those are all the things that we advocated for in our house concurrent resolution," Anchia explained. "We advocated in broad strokes comprehensive immigration reform that included both a guest worker program and a path to legal status, for the 11 million or so that are in this country undocumented."
In Texas, where we've been fighting the immigration battle nonstop for more than a decade, Republicans like Brad Bailey, a Texas GOP precinct chair, also say that now is the time for reform. He said claims by his fellow conservatives that any reform plan is 'amnesty' for people who have broken the law, are not helpful and not true. "By having to come out of the shadows, for having to pay a fine, for having to pay back taxes, for having to serve a probationary term for breaking the law, you're serving your debt to society."
Bailey said conservatives and Republicans need to support immigration reform, because the current system is broken and has begun to hurt the country's economy.
Republicans accuse the Obama administration of meddling in bi-partisan Congressional plans for immigration reform, to score political points. Anchia said it's time to focus on the bigger plan... not the political bickering. "Little by little consensus will begin to form, whether through the bipartisan "Gang of Eight" (a group of U.S. senators composed of four Democrats and four Republicans) or through a proposal from the White House, about what is politically doable."
Ultimately, Anchia said there needs to be a clear signal from Congress and The President that when it comes to immigration reform something is going to get done. "Our broken immigration system has very negative impacts on a number of states, like Texas. So what we need to do is create a system that matches willing workers with willing employers, in a legal and transparent system."
Texas House Concurrent Resolution 44 urges the U.S. Congress to "swiftly enact and fund comprehensive immigration reform that creates a road map to citizenship." Both Anchia and Hernandez Luna said the resolution takes a middle-of-the-road, or even conservative stance, that they are hoping House Republicans will support.
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