Texas Congressman calls for shift to legal immigration amidst border security debate.

Recent progress in addressing border security and immigration by Congressional Republicans has been made, though there is still a long way to go before legislation will be passed. The “Border Reinforcement Act,” a potential solution to border security issues, has recently gained traction and has been the focus of the U.S. House Homeland Security Committee’s recent debates. While it may face opposition from committee Democrats, the legislation has received positive attention from Republican lawmakers.

Among those supporting the bill is Texas Congressman Tony Gonzales, who previously opposed earlier GOP proposals. The legislation would increase the number of Border Patrol agents and continue construction of the border wall. Rep. Gonzales claims that it would also label Mexican drug cartels as terrorist organizations, allowing for the government to target them in their pocketbook rather than with military intervention. However, the bill is not without its critics; the second border bill, known as “The Border Security and Enforcement Act,” recently passed the House Judiciary Committee, but was met with opposition from Rep. Gonzales because he argued it took away too many paths for legal immigration and restricted asylum too much.

The Republican party has a targeted mid-May introduction for the final piece of legislation to address border security and immigration. However, some Republicans prefer to handle these issues separately, while others urge for a single cohesive bill.

Congressman Gonzales is of the opinion that the “Border Reinforcement Act” is a solid first step in tackling these complex issues. He believes that the work visa program should be strengthened to facilitate legal immigration, while separate yet related legislature should be passed to handle other immigration-related issues.

Recognizing that the issue is far from resolved with the approval by the Homeland Security Committee, Rep. Gonzales stresses the need for tangible outcomes, and hopes that immigration reform will become a parliamentary priority. Only then, by increasing legal immigration procedures and border security will the immigration crisis be truly resolved.

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