On Tuesday March 11th immigrant leaders and their supporters called for the stalled talks on the overhaul of the immigration system in the United States to be jump started by Congress’ Texas Republican delegation. Union leader Eliseo Medina and other people visited the offices of two congressmen and pressed Republicans to get moving with legislation that would legalize most of the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants that currently live and work in the US.
“Texas has the largest Republican delegation in the country,” say Medina, who serves as the Service Employees International Union’s secretary treasurer. “What Texas does matters. If Texas decides they will support immigration reform, we will have immigration reform.” Medina first visited Representative Joe Barton, noting that the latter was at least willing to engage in policy conversation, which is more than could be said for others.
Barton later described the meeting as a productive one but still cautioned that there is little chance of immigration reform moving forward in Congress in 2014. “I told them I think the biggest obstacle to reform is liberal Democrats, who want this as a campaign issue,” Barton claims. He added that he supports offering a path to citizenship to young undocumented immigrants who came to the United States when they were children, but that he has a different attitude when it comes to adults.
Medina and others also later paid a visit to Representative Sam Johnson, but spoke only with members of his staff and not the Congressman himself.