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Texas congressman says immigration reform should start with better work visa program

"If we don’t take notice to 53 innocent migrants dying, then when are we going to take notice to it?" U.S. Rep. Tony Gonzales (TX-23) told Inside Texas Politics.

DALLAS — It is the deadliest human smuggling incident in the history of the United States: Fifty-three migrants dead after being locked inside a tractor-trailer that was later abandoned in San Antonio.

The Republican congressman from that area says if this doesn’t open our eyes, nothing will.

“If we don’t take notice to 53 innocent migrants dying, then when are we going to take notice to it,” U.S. Rep. Tony Gonzales (TX-23) asked on Inside Texas Politics.

And now that the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that the Biden Administration can dump the Trump-era “Remain in Mexico” border policy, Gonzales says two things must happen.

First, the San Antonio Republican says the legislative branch needs to find a long-term solution, so judges aren’t the folks deciding immigration policy, which can vary from court to court and year to year.

And second, he says the executive branch needs to implement policies that work. While he thinks the “Remain in Mexico” policy was flawed, he says it was working. It required asylum seekers to remain in Mexico while their cases were heard in U.S. courts.

Watch the segment below:

Gonzales also thinks more immigration judges must be added to the equation.

“What needs to happen is folks need to get their asylum cases heard in days, not years,” the Republican said. “They need to have due process. But once their process is through, if they do not qualify for asylum, they need to return back to their country of origin.”

The congressman’s last priority is a legal route to obtain work visas, a program he says is currently broken.

The Republican says he represents 42% of the Texas border with Mexico and he thinks you can have both security and compassion.

“I think you can have both a strong border security package and an immigration reform package that welcomes those that want to come and work and live the American dream,” he said. “Now, you can’t start with amnesty. And you can’t start with the wall. I mean, that immediately tanks any kind of package. I think you start with work visas and you build out from there.”

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