SAN ANTONIO — Invoking the spirit of the Alamo, a Republican congressman from Texas with a prominent role in the immigration debate vowed Monday to overcome the political challenges to reform.

“The president’s set you up and you’re going to stick your neck out,” said Rep. John Carter, describing fears he has heard from members of his own party. “I’m kind of like Davy Crockett: They can go to hell and I’ll go to Texas.”

During a luncheon forum with Rep. Luis Gutierrez, D-Illinois, with whom Carter serves on an informal bipartisan group studying the issue, Carter pledged to bring a compromise bill to the House floor.

But even as they praised one another, the men acknowledged the political anxieties surrounding their negotiations. President Barack Obama won re-election with broad support from Hispanic voters, which led congressional Democrats to claim there’s a political mandate for a broad overhaul, including a clear path to citizenship for immigrants who live in the United States without legal permission.

Republicans have suggested incremental reforms, but they face an internal party split. The divide comes down to a single question: Which party would newly enfranchised immigrant voters thank?

Carter, for his part, suggested that “free enterprise will bring our share to the Republican Party.”

Gutierrez, though, seemed happy to let bygones be bygones.

“I don’t care how they came to the table,” he said, after noting that Republicans, in his view, had lost the support of Latinos by scapegoating them.

While both men characterized the bill before the Senate as a good start, Carter said its current provisions too closely resemble “amnesty.”

Conservative voters, he said, would not stand for any such program.

“They’re not against the immigration,” he said, “they’re against the lawbreaking.”

Invoking his own history as the son of Puerto Rican natives who arrived in Chicago in 1952 unable to speak English, Gutierrez said the consequences of illegally entering the country should be proportional.

“If I don’t put enough money in the meter, they put a ticket on my car,” he said. “They don’t take my car away.”

Since an executive order halted deportations of children, Gutierrez said, young immigrants have turned their focus to helping parents who crossed the border illegally to earn the right to stay.

Earning that right, he said, should include registering with the authorities, paying fines, learning English and paying taxes.

Carter agreed the legal immigration system is “broken,” but he underscored differences in his party’s approach to the issue.

“It’s very emotional to some,” he said. “But the reality is it’s an economic argument.”

No matter their accord — Gutierrez wore a blue tie; Carter wore a dark red tie — the bipartisan group may be running out of time after four years of behind-the-scenes policy negotiations. The House Judiciary Committee, of which Gutierrez is a member, has announced plans for its own series of bills this week.

(1) comment


@ “I’m kind of like Davy Crockett: They can go to hell and I’ll go to Texas.”
During a luncheon forum with Rep. Luis Gutierrez, D-Illinois, with whom Carter serves on an informal bipartisan group studying the issue, Carter pledged to bring a compromise bill to the House floor.

If I'm understanding the article correctly, It seems to me that Rep. Carter may be getting ready to go in with Rep. Gutierrez (D-Ill.) and the Democratic party in their ploy for votes. The Democrats hoping to get enough votes themselves to pass a bill , to give illegal aliens a right to be inside the U.S. and to vote.

Davy Crockett is quoted as to when he made the statement, 'You go to Hell' ' I'll go to Texas.' If I'm remembering correctly, Davy Crockett went to Texas to fight against the Mexicans who were trying to come in, and take over the country, that belonged by that time to the Texans ,Crockett didn't invite the Mexicans into Texas ,they tried to overrun its borders. Much like what is happening today, with not only the Mexican population but others using their border to infiltrate into the US.
If Davy had waited a near 100 and 50 years later, he would probably have also had to fight against ,El Saldorians, Hondurans, Iranians, Cubans some Japanese etc etc,etc and maybe even some Chechens out of Russia, or whatever, illegal alien the country has had come sneaking into the U.S. through its southern border.

All of these un-invited foreign illegally inserts into the country, have been due, to not having any protection from this sort of behavior. Our government surely wasn't going to help the people of the country, they've shown that, by always having excuses why it can't be done. Most of them have stated ,too much of a cost !!

Davy Crockett if alive today, may have had another quote, of 'How in the heck did you people allow this to happen '? 'The cost to us were our lives to secure the state of Texas for you'.

If Rep Carter is planning to compromise with the democrat's, and Rep. Luis Gutierrez, the Democrat from Illinois,(who Carter may not know it, but who is no friend to the conservative part of the country or to Texas, (no matter how big of a smile he has on his face when he states ,he's willing to let by gones be by gones) and Mr. Carter gives his vote or his name to any plan the Democrats may have, as far as Giving any rights to an illegal ,Giving benefits or Giving Citizenship to someone who many have already lived off the U.S. Tax Payer for many number of years .
I will be forced to withdraw any support I would otherwise give to Carter in the future .
I have always supported him in the past since he did do the majority of what his contistutients wanted. But the majority of citizens in the U.S. and especially the border states do not want a compromise.

Too many others have been willing to wait their turn in the background, to become official U.S. citizens ,those are the ones who deserve consideration.
They would be the true Conservatives I would think.

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