The wide-ranging discussion focused on the differences in the immigration debate between Texas and Washington, and that Texas has generally been welcoming to immigrants, despite being a conservative state.
As the Gang of Eight's immigration reform bill works its way through the Senate, Texas Senator John Cornyn has proposed an amendment (RESULTS) that would increase requirements for border security before granting a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants. In an editorial in USA Today, Cornyn emphasizes the need to guarantee a secure border: http://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2013/06/09/immigration-border-security-sen-john-cornyn/2406301/
Senate Majority Leader has called the amendment a "poison pill" and other Democratic senators have rejected the amendment, with Reid saying “We have a senator from Texas, Senator Cornyn who wants to change border security, a trigger, saying that it has to be a 100 percent border security, or [there will] be no bill. That’s a poison pill,” Reid said on Univision’s Al Punto."
Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2013/06/harry-reid-john-cornyn-immigration-bill-92463.html#ixzz2VpYjve18
The Senate has scheduled a procedural vote on the immigration bill for Monday afternoon. http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2013/06/09/senate-house-immigration-benefits/2385449/
In the House, the issue of access to healthcare has created divisions in the set of negotiators who hope to complete a bill in the next week or two:
"But there is a bloc of House GOP members -- including 2012 vice presidential candidate Rep Paul Ryan of Wisconsin -- that is pushing for a similar bipartisan approach that the Senate is taking up this week, which includes a path to citizenship. The group represents a minority within the House GOP conference.
That bipartisan effort suffered a significant setback last week. A working group, similar to the Senate's "Gang of Eight," has been on the verge of unveiling legislation for months, according to multiple sources. But Rep. Raul Labrador, one of the four GOP members in the group, abruptly dropped out. Like Rubio, who is needed to attract Republican votes in the Senate, reform backers hoped Labrador would play the same role in the House.
Labrador was frustrated he couldn't get support for his detailed proposal laying out how undocumented workers in the U.S. would be barred from any taxpayer-funded health care benefits."