During an appearance on a local radio station Thursday morning, Texas Senator John Cornyn (R) claimed that people from all over the world are now entering the country illegally through Texas and insisted that any Congressional effort to reform the immigration system must invest in border security.
“You gotta stop the flow of people coming across and my friends and your friends Edd who have places in South Texas tell me, as a matter a fact a guy told me last night, he said we’ve got people coming across our place speaking Chinese, French and basically all of the languages in the world, coming through and across our southern border,” Cornyn said during an interview on KSEV.
While lawmakers agree that border security should be part of any comprehensive immigration reform package, the U.S. border is more secure than ever before. Border crossings are at 40-year low — falling to their lowest level since the Nixon administration — and net undocumented migration is at or below zero. Border agents patrol every single mile of the border every day and the vast majority of the border already meets one of Homeland Security’s highest standards of security.
“People are willing to try to weigh in and try to improve our broken immigration system,” Cornyn conceded. “What we have now is a defacto amnesty when we have 11 or 12 million folks living here who have come in without going through the proper channels.”
The group of bipartisan senators drafting comprehensive immigration reform legislation plan to introduce their bill the week of April 8 and have agreed that certain security benchmarks must be met before undocumented immigrants can apply for permanent legal status. Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) — the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee who is responsible for spearheading the legislation through Congress — has pledged to “proceed to comprehensive immigration reform with all deliberate speed.”