House and Senate immigration bills stalled by Texas Republicans

Immigration ReformRepublican legislators from Texas remain at loggerheads over a number of immigration measures, with efforts to pass bills in both the Senate and the House of Representatives gridlocked due to the divide between moderate conservatives and more hard-line members of the GOP.

The more moderate Texas Republicans believe that harsh crackdowns on immigration are unnecessary and risk alienating Hispanic voters from the Republican Party altogether, according to the Dallas Morning News. Tea Party Republicans feel that their compatriots are being far too lenient when it comes to methods for improving border security, however, and the two factions will need to reach a compromise to pass any bills with just five weeks of the current legislative session remaining.

“We just don’t have the time in 140 days to deal with the big-ticket issues and also pander to a small percentage of movement conservatives,” says Representative Jason Villalba. A number of Senate bills in Texas that would stop students getting cheaper college tuition in the state, enable authorities in nearby states to go ahead with federal immigration measures and roll back restrictions that prevent police from questioning people about their immigration status have not yet been passed, with similar resistance seen in the House of Representatives over bills relating to ‘sanctuary cities’ and college tuition rates.

The division in the Republican Party in the state is occurring even as Texas leads another 25 states in a legal challenge against the executive action taken on US immigration reform by President Obama.