Protestors outside Cornyn’s office today demand end to migrant detention centers. Is he listening? (No)

by | Jul 2, 2019 | Immigration/Border, Policy

On Tuesday, hundreds of protestors gathered outside the Houston and Austin offices of Sen. John Cornyn to protest his inaction on migrant camps along the U.S.-Mexico border.

The “#CloseTheCamps” rally coincided with several other planned protests in the state and more than 180 across the nation, according to their organizer, progressive advocacy group MoveOn.

In Austin and Houston, protesters held signs like “never again is now” and “Cornyn supports death camps.”

Unfortunately, their calls for action will fall on deaf ears. John Cornyn likes to torpedo bi-paristan immigration legislation.

Most notably, in 2013 Cornyn attempted to detail an immigration bill that would have seen a path to citizenship for 11 million undocumented residents. The bi-partisan Senate bill was eventually sunk in the Repulbican-controlled House, but the incident has earned Cornyn a nasty reputation for wasting everyone’s time.

“A lot of us have drunk this John Cornyn Kool-Aid before,” said American Immigration Council chief Benjamin Johnson at the time. “He says he’s going to take you to the dance, and then he never asks you.”

“This is classic Cornyn. We know the pattern all too well,” said another immigration advocate, Frank Sherry, after Cornyn’s no vote in 2013. “He pretends to be sincere about the need for reform. He asks for changes that are a bridge too far. He destabilizes the bipartisan agreement already in place. He helps to thwart reform. He votes no in the end anyway.”

In 2006, he again performed the same tactic on another bi-parstian immigration bill. Cornyn hammered on about the need for immigration reform, offered an overambitious amendment for the proposed law, and then ended up voting against it when he didn’t get his way.

His flip-flop track record on immigration reform probably explains why the immigration bill he’s heralding has yet to find a single co-sponsor— a stunning achievement considering lawmakers are scrambling to find a solution to the migrant crisis along the Texas-Mexico border.

Correction: This article previously stated there were “dozens” of protestors. There were hundreds. | + posts

Fernando covers Texas politics and government at the Texas Signal. Before joining the Signal, Fernando spent two years at the Houston Chronicle and previously interned at Houston’s NPR station News 88.7. He is a graduate of the University of Houston, Jack J. Valenti School of Communication, and enjoys reading, highlighting things, and arguing on social media. You can follow him on Twitter at @fernramirez93 or email at

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