Congressional candidate responds to immigration discussion
June 18, 2014 at 1:18 a.m.
Updated June 19, 2014 at 1:19 a.m.
On the heels of Congressman Blake Farenthold's call for presidential intervention on immigration, his opponent in the November election is calling for action, not rhetoric.
Lt. Col. Wesley Reed, the Democratic challenger for the District 27 Congressional seat, said laws should start with Congress.
"Instead of calling upon the president (Barack Obama) to speak with the president of Mexico to deal with the present issues of immigration reform ... the issue should be on getting House Speaker John Boehner to bring a comprehensive immigration reform bill," Reed said.
In an interview Monday with the Victoria Advocate, Farenthold, a two-term congressman, said, "We need to get the message out there that if you get up here, there is no law or policy that says you're going to get to stay."
Reed said the congressman needs "to stop worrying about trying to be a national tea party leader but worry about the people of the district."
The district includes Victoria, Aransas, Calhoun, Jackson, Lavaca, Matagorda, Nueces, Refugio, San Patricio and Wharton counties, and about half the population is Hispanic.
Reed said only 10 percent of immigrants crossing the border are from Mexico.
In order to solve the issue, Congress needs to work out the differences instead of stonewalling it, Reed said.
"Those kids who are going to college who were brought here as minors, they're trying to learn those critical skills we need to move our county forward, they deserve a path to stay here," Reed said. "People who are willing to risk their lives for our country, they deserve a path to stay here and be a citizen."
He said Congress needs to give the border patrol and homeland security the funding they need and support either through public-private partnerships to take care of the children who are crossing over while the U.S. tries to reunite them with their families.
"It's not something that can be solved overnight, but if we address comprehensive immigration reform and improve the legal visa process ... and make sure that process is efficient, we can take care of those who are here who are undocumented."