HOUSTON, TX – Sometimes it takes a clear message, like a presidential election, to get politicians to wake up and smell the ‘rosas’.
Houston congressional Democrats Gene and Al Green, no relation, along with Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee and a coalition of civic, faith, and labor groups are using President Obama’s election to start a Texas campaign for common-sense immigration reform.
“We need the United States Senate to pass a good, comprehensive immigration reform that unites families, that allow students to stay here. No country in the world would do what we’re doing now,”Gene Green told the crowd.
The members of Congress got the jump on their Senate counterparts and the president, who will talk about his plan tomorrow.
GOP senators like John McCain say they now realize the party’s hard-core stance on immigration reform ‘drove’ away Latino and Asian voters by ‘the droves.’
And that’s what led to something not seen often in Washington, a bi-partisan scene of senators talking about their plan to introduce immigration reforms.
Their broad proposals lay out a way for the millions of illegal immigrants with no criminal records to get legal work permits. It also includes a better system for employers to verify if their workers are here legally. And it endorses stricter border controls.
The group will also offer a way for children brought into the US by their parents to obtain citizenship, the underlying concept of the dream act.
The immigration proposals from the senators come about 130 years after the passage of The Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882. It was the first federal law banning the immigration of an entire group of people, a move supported by labor unions.
And that’s why the caption for an 1882 pro-act cartoon should carry a caution for today: ‘When politicians do agree, their unanimity is wonderful.’