Houston lawmaker says immigration reform possible in next Congress


Protesters against Senate Bill 4, the state's anti-"sanctuary cities" law, march at the Texas Capitol on May 29, 2017. Credit: Erika Rich for The Texas Tribune

The Democrat is also introducing legislation to change immigration law.

When the 118th Congress convenes next month, Democrats will be in the minority.

But Congressman Al Green thinks they can still get plenty accomplished over the next two years.

While the Democrat from Houston says the first priority is to fund the government, he also believes lawmakers can get something done on immigration in the coming months.

“I think that we may be at a point now where comprehensive immigration reform may be acceptable to both sides,” Congressman Green said on Inside Texas Politics. “I know that one side is very much focused on the border. The other side is focused on the people who are here and what we’re going to be able to do to help bring them out of the shadows. I think these things can be accommodated.”

Congressman Green also recently introduced legislation that would create exceptions to immigration law that bans immigrants living illegally in the U.S. from returning for a 10-year period if they ever leave.

That bill would also help a DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) recipient stuck in Mexico return to his wife and child in Houston.

Jaime Avalos came to live in the U.S. with his parents when he was one. But his mother took him on a trip to Mexico when he was 7 years old. A couple of decades later, Avalos recently returned to Mexico. Unaware of the law, he hasn’t been able to come back to the U.S. ever since.

“I’d like to have him home for Christmas, to be quite candid with you,” said the Congressman. “But I sincerely believe that we will bring him home and that we will do it, I sincerely believe, within a time limit that I might find unacceptable but will be a means by which we’ll get him home.”


by Michael McCardel

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