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What Texas Democrats & Republicans are saying about new Biden immigration program

What Texas Democrats & Republicans are saying about new Biden immigration program
What Texas Democrats & Republicans are saying about new Biden immigration program 02:23

NORTH TEXAS — Texas Democrats are praising President Joe Biden's new immigration program, while Republicans from the Lone Star State are blasting it.

The policy, unveiled by President Biden Tuesday, will offer protections to about 500,000 people who crossed into the U.S. illegally at least ten years ago and who are also married to American citizens. 

Those include protections against being deported and the ability to apply for work permits.

The policy will lead to permanent residency, meaning those impacted would receive a green card and for many of them, ultimately U.S. citizenship.

It comes two weeks after President Biden tightened rules and effectively shut asylum down between the legal ports of entry once it reaches a certain threshold.

On the U.S. Senate floor Monday, Texas Senator John Cornyn said he believes the policy will make illegal immigration worse. 

"This is what the Border Patrol calls a pull factor," said Cornyn. "It's like a magnet attracting people into the U.S. who know that if they wait long enough, President Biden will find some way to allow them to stay in the United States."

State Representative Ramon Romero, Jr. (D-Fort Worth) told CBS News Texas the new policy will help businesses and families and rejected Republican criticism. 

"They still live under a different set of rules," Romero said. "They can't have a criminal history. If they do get a criminal history, they can be deported. Three strikes and you're out. So it's not amnesty. Look, Americans have to finally stand up and say we've been asking for a solution. This is a solution."

In a statement Tuesday afternoon, Governor Greg Abbott said in part, "President Biden's amnesty proposal, just like President Obama's DAPA and DACA proposals, will be stricken down by the courts for a simple reason: It is Congress, not the President, that has the authority to make or change immigration laws."

Democratic Congressman Joaquin Castro of San Antonio said in a statement Tuesday, "Congress must pass comprehensive immigration reform, but this is a compassionate step forward. I look forward to working with the Biden administration to help families access this relief."     

Because this is an election year, the politics behind this policy are amplified even more.

The President's policy comes as he scores lower marks in the polls than the former President when it comes to border security and illegal immigration.     

This and other immigration issues will likely come up during the first debate between Mr. Biden and Mr. Trump one week from Thursday on June 27.

Watch Eye On Politics 7:30 a.m. Sunday on CBS News Texas on air & streaming.

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