Liberal Group Doesn't Trust Immigration's 'Biggest Hypocrite'

PHOTO: CornynBill Clark/CQ Roll Call
Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, left, speaks with chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., during a May 9 Senate Judiciary Committee markup hearing for an immigration reform bill.

A planned amendment to the immigration reform bill in the Senate has liberal supporters of the bill worried that it's really a ploy to kill the negotiations altogether.

Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) intends to introduce an amendment next week that would rework the approach to border security in the legislation.

See Also: Cornyn Amendment Could Help or Kill Immigration Reform

According to an outline of his proposal, most of the country's 11 million undocumented immigrants could not apply to become legal permanent residents unless a mix of immigration enforcement goals have been met.

Liberals who want to see better route to citizenship aren't feeling that. At all.

America's Voice, which lobbies for immigration reform, put out a strong statement against Cornyn and the amendment on Wednesday. From Frank Sharry, the organization's executive director:

This is classic Cornyn. We know the pattern all too well. 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. That's why we bestowed a lifetime achievement award for being the 'Biggest Hypocrite on Immigration.'"

They have good reason to be nervous.

When the immigration bill passed through the Senate Judiciary Committee on its way to the floor, Cornyn voted for an amendment that would have made it impossible for undocumented immigrants to become citizens.

That amendment failed, but it shows you how much Cornyn cares about undocumented immigrants getting citizenship: not at all.

If Cornyn follows through with the amendment next week, it could put pressure on the coalition of Democrats and Republicans who have carried the bill this far.

A couple of the bill's drafters already appear to be retreating to their partisan camps over the planned border security changes.

Others are laying low, like Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), one of the bipartisan "Gang of Eight" that drafted the bill.

Huffington Post reporter Elise Foley tweeted that when she asked Flake if he needed to have the border security amendment to vote for immigration reform, he "just bolted."