Cornyn: Layered approach to immigration reform necessary

Texas senator says 2008 anti-trafficking bill contains 'profit motive' loophole

SAN ANTONIO – Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, spoke at Port San Antonio Friday afternoon after a visit to McAllen to see the hundreds of immigrant children being housed there as they wait for processing. 

Cornyn's visit came a day after both houses of Congress failed to reach agreements on immigration reform bills before summer recess.

"We need an orderly, lawful system and we need to eliminate the profit motive under the current loophole in the 2008 law," he said.

Cornyn referred to a 2008 anti-trafficking bill that allows young Central American immigrants to be released to family members living in the United States while they await a court appearance.

Cornyn said many of those children never go to the hearings but let family members back home know they are safe in the U.S.

"This is a tremendous magnet to encourage more parents to submit more of their children to this horrendous journey up Central America subject to the tender mercies of the cartels," he said.

Cornyn met with President Barack Obama Thursday evening and asked him for another solution instead of the $3.7 billion in emergency funding he initially sought. Cornyn said this only pays for the consequences without finding a real solution.

"At some point, the wave of humanity just overwhelms our capacity to deal with these children in a humane and compassionate sort of way," he said.