Commissioner Staples Urges U.S. House to do Better Than the Senate 'Gang Of Eight' Immigration Reform Bill (6/27/2013)

AUSTIN — Texas Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples today released the following statement regarding the U.S. Senate’s passage of the ‘Gang of Eight’ immigration bill.

"In the 80’s, we had parachute pants, big hair and the 1986 amnesty law. Let us never repeat those mistakes.

“Passing a law through the U.S. Senate that has no chance of passing through the U.S. House is about as useful as a plate with no food. I am pro-jobs, pro-security, pro-family and pro-legal immigration. Unfortunately, this bill is pro-status quo.

“This legislation, with its flawed and unaccountable border security measures, arbitrarily small caps on visas, and a new and special pathway to citizenship for those who’ve broken our laws, ensures our failed immigration system will only continue to fuel an underground economy.

“America must have a secure border and reform our failed immigration system that currently cheats U.S. taxpayers, U.S. workers and immigrants alike. Our U.S. House must now pass a meaningful bill that secures our borders, provides the workforce we need and upholds what it means to be a citizen of this great country. The American Dream is very much alive, and we welcome all who choose to abide by our laws. We must not play political poker games with what we hold most dear, our citizenship.

“In 1986, we were told a one-time amnesty was needed to resolve the status of the undocumented, and nearly three million people received legal permanent residency. In 2013, at least 11 million immigrants are living in the shadows. If we continue on course, in 2040 will Congress grant amnesty to another 40 million people? Rewarding those who knowingly broke our nation’s immigration laws and refusing to create a market-based visa system isn’t a solution. Rather, it entices continued disregard of our nation’s laws.

“Unfortunately, the U.S. Senate today bit off more than they had to, and the result is that their work will likely be dead on arrival when it reaches the U.S. House of Representatives.”