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‘This is the political process' | A bipartisan effort at border reform remains stalled in Congress 13 months later

Democrats and Republicans have signed on to it. So why hasn’t the Bipartisan Border Solutions Act gained further traction?

When anyone talks about crisis at the border, they point to Congress and the need for a legislative solution. A bill to address at least some of the border issues is now before Congress.

It has been, in fact. For over a year.

U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) announced the Bipartisan Border Solutions Act in an April 22, 2021 press release. He later spoke about it during a June visit to the Rio Grande Valley.

The best evidence that we actually are not just talking, but doing something, is the legislation that you see, that's mentioned here today: the Bipartisan Border Solutions Act,” Cornyn said in last summer’s visit, when addressing reporters.

He was accompanied by other Republican and Democratic lawmakers who signed on to support the legislation.

“We have to solve this problem before it gets worse,” said Republican Rep. Tony Gonzales (TX-23) on that June day.

In April, when Cornyn’s PR team first published the press release about the bill, the legislation was introduced in the Senate and the House.

According to the legislative bill tracker, it’s not moved significantly since.

“Unfortunately, that's what happens to any bill that deals with immigration. It's happened since 1986,” Democratic Rep. Henry Cuellar (TX-28) recently said.

Cuellar is the bill’s House sponsor.

“We’re trying to do our best, and I've taken parts of that and put it in the appropriation bills as much as I can to at least get concepts moving from that bill,” Cuellar told KENS 5 this month. 

“We’ve started to gain more momentum,” Rep. Gonzales told KENS 5 this month.

He tells us more lawmakers have signed up in support.

“This is the political process. You have to create enough political pressure that forces people to have this conversation,” Gonzales said. “It’s going to take everyone in Congress in order to solve it.” 

The solution may lie  with the voters; Cuellar suggested looking at how people representing you vote on immigration reform.

“Don't listen to the words, look at the votes,” he said. “Contact those people that have voted no on that.”

KENS 5 has reached out to Sen. Cornyn multiple times for an interview on this story.

He was not available for comment. In recent months, his spokesperson told KENS 5, the Senator has asked for a hearing on this bill many times. 

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