Immigration resolution in House gets Republican support



Two House Democrats have been trying all session to get the first Republican member to sign on to their immigration-reform resolution. On Wednesday night, they hooked one.

At a State Affairs Committee hearing late Wednesday, state Rep. Jason Villalba, R-Dallas, signed on to House Concurrent Resolution 44 by Reps. Rafael Anchia, D-Dallas, and Ana Hernandez Luna, D-Houston. HCR 44 calls for comprehensive immigration reform and incorporates some immigration measures drafted by national and state Republican and conservative groups.

The end goal of the largely symbolic resolution is to get U.S. Congress to pass immigration legislation that takes into account the bipartisan approach of Texas leaders, Anchia said.

“Jason has engaged in a good faith dialogue on this issue and has brought much-needed leadership on the Republican side,” Anchia said. “It is this type of bipartisan collaboration that gets things done in Austin and that is needed more in Washington, D.C.”

The resolution takes a middle-of-the-road, even conservative, approach, the Democrats said. Anchia and Hernandez Luna borrowed language from the Texas Federation of Republican Women, which in January called for allowing young people in the country illegally to earn legal status or citizenship when they meet certain standards, such as English fluency.

The resolution never really gained any traction with Republicans — until Villalba came along this week. Villalba, now a joint author, helped the original authors craft a resolution that should attract other conservatives, he said.

First and foremost, Villalba made sure the resolution couldn’t be considered to advocate for amnesty, a term that repels Republicans like few other terms.

The Dallas Republican also changed the resolution’s approach to a pathway to citizenship. He persuaded the authors to change the language so it would call for a roadmap to legal status — toward either citizenship or legal residency — that could only come about after all efforts could be taken to secure the Texas/Mexico border.

“What we’ve crafted is a statement of principles,” Villalba said.

Villalba said he he hopes the measure will be voted out of committee soon and will reach the House floor for debate as quickly as next week.

Anchia added: “I am more hopeful than I have been in this entire process.”


Reader Comments


Next Up in News

After initial wave, more storms coming through Austin area on Friday
After initial wave, more storms coming through Austin area on Friday
Troy Kimmel’s advice is to think of this round of storms like the spokes of a bicycle wheel.The hub of the bicycle wheel, well west of Central Texas...
Woman wearing 'Stop Domestic Violence' T-shirt arrested for domestic violence
Woman wearing 'Stop Domestic Violence' T-shirt arrested for domestic violence
A woman in Maine has been charged with shooting at her husband during an argument, but it's what she was wearing when she was arrested that is...
Man struck by car, killed after trying to cross I-35, police say
5:20 p.m. update: A pedestrian who tried to cross Interstate 35 died Wednesday night after he was struck by a car, Austin police said.
Video: Angry Florida man takes sledgehammer to quarters game
Video: Angry Florida man takes sledgehammer to quarters game
St. Petersburg police in Florida are hoping to identify a man who didn’t take too kindly to losing at a quarters game on Sunday afternoon.
Short on lifeguards, Austin delays opening of five city pools
Short on lifeguards, Austin delays opening of five city pools
The swimming pool at Garrison Park won’t open in time for Memorial Day weekend, and four other city pools will miss their originally scheduled...
More Stories

You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to myStatesman.com.

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of free premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and bonus content- exclusively for subscribers. Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

X

Welcome to myStatesman.com

This subscriber-only site gives you exclusive access to breaking news, in-depth coverage, exclusive interactives and bonus content.

You can read free articles of your choice a month that are only available on myStatesman.com.