Compromise framework renews immigration debate

Local delegation split over bipartisan proposal

Published On: Jan 28 2013 06:38:54 PM CST   Updated On: Jan 28 2013 06:51:42 PM CST

A framework for comprehensive immigration reform -- negotiated by a bipartisan group of U.S. Senators -- has renewed debate over the long-divisive issue.

San Antonio’s Congressional delegation itself is split along party lines.

“The immigration reform proposal is promising. It’s a good start,” said newly sworn-in Rep. Joaquin Castro, D-Dist. 20. “I think the devil is in the details but it’s certainly a good indicator that both sides are coming together in Washington.”

However, Republican Congressman Lamar Smith, said, “No one should be surprised that individuals who have supported amnesty in the past, still support amnesty.”

Also, according to a spokesperson for the U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, “There are many facets to immigration reform, but one that must be addressed first and foremost is our porous border.”

But Rep. Henry Cuellar, D-Dist.28, said the outline does address border security, a guest worker program and the up to 12 million undocumented immigrants in the U.S.

Having been re-elected with more than 70 per cent of the Hispanic vote, supporters of immigration reform said Republicans face a new political reality.

Another freshman Rep. Pete Gallego, D-Dist. 23, said, “I think with the changing demographics, people are starting to understand that if a party is willing to maintain its viability, it’s got to reach out to the Latino community.”