San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro, a star at the Democratic National Conventionand leading advocate of immigration reform, criticized Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell‘s call for significant changes to the bipartisan bill now before the Senate.
“What we need now are folks who are seriously working to pass it come together and make the compromises, make the small changes that are needed,” Castro told CBS News after a White House event with business and labor leaders united behind comprehensive reform. “It has a strong framework and it’s going to take serious legislators who actually want to get things done.”
McConnell took the Senate floor and predicted the bill as drafted by the so-called Gang of 8 (four Republicans and four Democrats) would fail as written. Even so, McConnell voted to begin debate on the legislation, helping it clear one important procedural hurdle.
“At the risk of stating the obvious, this bill has serious flaws,” McConnell said. “In the days ahead there will need to be major changes to this bill if it’s going to become law. These include, but are not limited to, the areas of border security,government benefits and taxes.”
On the issue of border security, Castro echoed the White House contention that improvements in border security ought to pave the way for comprehensive reform. The chief goal of that reform is creating a path to citizenship for the estimated 11 million illegal immigrants already here. Under the legislation, most undocumented workers would be immediately protected from deportation but have to wait up to 13 years to obtain citizenship.
Castro also said it would be impossible to create absolute border security, implying any attempt to tie legalization of undocumented workers to that standard would gut the 1,077-page bill.
- Obama: For Immigration Reform, The “Moment Is Now” (wibw.com)
- San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro at White House for immigration reform push (trailblazersblog.dallasnews.com)
- Mayor Castro to join Obama immigration reform push (mysanantonio.com)
- What a Surprise, Julian Castro Is Visiting D.C. Again. (nationalreview.com)
- “SHINING A LIGHT ON MITCH McCONNELL” (goodolewoody.me)
- McConnell: ‘Major Changes’ Needed on Immigration Bill (nationalreview.com)
- Obama: ‘Congress needs to act’ on immigration now (syndicatednewsservices.com)
- Julian Castro re-elected to 3rd term as San Antonio mayor (nbclatino.com)
- Obama, joined by broad coalition, hosts immigration reform event today (nbclatino.com)