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Senators disappoint: Hutchison, Cornyn let us down - El Paso Times (TX)

- June 24, 2007

June 24, 2007 | El Paso Times (TX) | El Paso Times Staff

We're disappointed in our two U.S. senators, Republicans Kay Bailey Hutchison and John Cornyn.

Both have decided to back off on a comprehensive immigration-reform bill that the Bush
administration has been desperately pushing for passage. T he bill returns to the Senate floor next

We agree and continue to agree with our two senators on many issues regarding immigration

But we strongly disagree on this stance the two are taking. T hey have joined in what's nothing
more than polarizing, partisan politics that is getting in the way of making our borders secure.

We like President Bush's plan that basically calls for a path toward citizenship for those in the
country illegally -- but also for a guest-worker program, some $4-plus billion to go into border
security and for stiff fines for employers who hire undocumented workers.

We are for that "virtual fence," meaning using technology and more Border Patrol agents, and
against a physical wall that would separate our border with Mexico.

We had hoped, even expected, Hutchison and Cornyn would side with the Bush plan. T hey
represent T exas -- a border state.

T he Hutchison announcement denouncing the legislation was soon followed by Cornyn's

statement that he, too, would oppose a bill he called "deeply flawed."

T his is most disappointing in El Paso, and likely in all or most border cities. It came on the same day
a large delegation of El Paso leaders was in Washington, D.C., pushing for an immigration bill.

It now appears that the immigration issue is on the back burner again. Hutchison, who is No. 4 in
the Senate GOP hierarchy, said she will vote against reviving the bill when it returns to the Senate
floor this week.

She's wrong. Our U.S. Representative, Silvestre Reyes, is right. Reyes, the El Paso Democrat, said
amid the El Paso delegation's visit last week: "We need as many people advocating for
comprehensive immigration reform as possible. It's long overdue that Congress address this
issue, and we need to move forward before the window of opportunity closes."

It was certainly a setback for this border community when two powerful U.S. senators, in a border
state, went against their own GOP president in an effort to stall, yet again, the much-needed
immigration reform.
Copyrig ht (c) 2007 El Paso Times, a MediaNews Group Newspaper.