Sen. John Cornyn discusses border security, relationship with Mexico

Cornyn believes bipartisanship is way to get things done

SAN ANTONIO – Part U.S. Senator, part tour guide, Texas’ senior Sen. John Cornyn is back to work after a border field trip with fellow members of Congress.

The issues of immigration, a border wall and doing business with Mexico are among the things he talked to KSAT’s Steve Spriester about Wednesday afternoon.

"We're not going to get a divorce. We're joined together by a common border," Cornyn said about Mexico.

Cornyn was a tour guide to lawmakers who don't have Mexico as a neighbor.

The border is a place Cornyn has been to many times. Growing up in Texas, and going to college in San Antonio, the idea is for his fellow members of Congress to learn the contrasts and complexities of the Texas-Mexico border.

"When it comes to binational trade, about 5 million American jobs depend on trade between the United States and Mexico, and then of course there is the challenge of illegal immigration and drugs," Cornyn said.

Cornyn isn't for a wall across the entire Texas border. He believes three things will make border security better: more personnel, technology and infrastructure. He also applauds Trump’s newest immigration executive order.

"I think that will bring down the temperature quite a bit. And I think we can have a more sensible and rational conversation about what should our legal immigration system look like. I plan to be right in the middle of that," Cornyn said.

The senator also talked about some of his colleagues’ town halls in the last 48 hours, which have included yelling and protests.

"I know there are many people who care desperately about this country, who are scared about the direction of this country and want us to do better. And I embrace that, but there are also going to be some people who are just interested in disrupting any other civilized conversation we might have, and frankly I don't have time for that," Cornyn said.

Cornyn said he hopes to help, whether it's bridging the partisan divide in the country, or border issues, even helping a sometimes controversial president succeed.

"We're going to have some differences of opinion, certainly some differences in tone, but I think that's the normal give and take of the political process. I'm excited about the opportunities that we have," Cornyn said.

Cornyn said he hopes at some point, the partisan fever will break and people will realize the only way to get things done is in a bipartisan fashion.

The border is a popular place. Sen. Ted Cruz was there earlier in the week. House Speaker Paul Ryan and a group of congressman also paid a visit this week.

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About the Author:

Steve Spriester started at KSAT in 1995 as a general assignments reporter. Now, he anchors the station's top-rated 5, 6 and 10 p.m. newscasts.