Cornyn to Trump: Don’t close U.S. border

U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, said he called President Trump to advise him about potential unintended consequences of closing the Mexico border.

“I told him that I understand his frustration,” Cornyn said on a conference call with reporters Wednesday. “The problem really lies in the defects and gaps in our asylum laws that are being exploited now.

“They allow people to come from Central America through Mexico and turn themselves in to the border patrol, who have been so preoccupied processing these asylum seekers, they’ve been handing out juice boxes and diapers, rather than dealing with dangerous drugs or human traffickers.”

Cornyn said he asked the president to work with his administration to find targeted ways to encourage Mexico and Central America to work more cooperatively with the United States.

“I’m sure [closing the border] would be harmful to our relationships and be harmful to our economy,” Cornyn said. “He asked me to talk to members of his cabinet, which I’m in the process of doing and seeing if we can come up with some alternatives.”

Earlier this week, Cornyn called for compromise over politics regarding the border, but put the responsibility on the Democrats to come to table.

“We saw the government shut down for 35 days because of a zero-sum game over physical barriers at the border,” he said. House Speaker “Nancy Pelosi took the position that walls and fencing were immoral and (U.S. Sen.) Chuck Schumer took the position that they weren’t going to spend one penny on the physical barriers, even though back in 2006 and 2008, there was a bipartisan act passed that paid for and authorized barriers along the border and key locations.”

Cornyn said he is frustrated and can understand the president’s concern.

“A few years ago a Democrat from Laredo, Henry Cuellar, and I introduced a bill called the Humane Act that would changed the asylum laws to require people coming from noncontiguous countries to be treated the same way we treat immigrants from Mexico and Canada.”

Cornyn said because of a long-standing piece of legislation focused on human trafficking, anyone that brings a child, or an unaccompanied child, is placed with a sponsor and the case can take years to appear in front of an immigration judge.

The senator said cartels exploit such loopholes.

“We have to work together to fix the problem,” he said. “While I support legal immigration, what we have now is not compassionate, and I think it is dangerous.”

Columns

HEALTHY LIVING — What to be concerned with that lingering cough

Local

Port Neches homes set for demolition after numerous violations, safety concerns

Local

Russell Buss hits milestone with special blood donation

Local

Carjacking Task Force targeting violent crime in Southeast Texas

Local

Port Arthur students excel at Top Teens of America event

Local

PHOTO FEATURE — Memorial sophomore excels in prose interpretation

Local

RELIGION BRIEF — God 1st Missionary Baptist celebrating pastor’s anniversary

Local

PHOTO FEATURE — Criticism Team comes up extra positive

Local

PHOTO FEATURE — Taking in the Symphony

Local

Dr. Avila Arcala left mark on Port Arthur and beyond; service planned Saturday

Local

Port Arthur ISD support center renovation full go; district leaders outline plans and timeline

Local

U.S. Navy for Port Arthur’s Hyleta Floyd is about service and family

Local

FIT BODY BOOT CAMP PUMPS UP VOLUME — Fitness goals via a welcoming environment is the mission

Local

Jury sentences Port Arthur man week after he was found guilty in Beaumont killing

Local

Port Arthur Police say arrests coming following shooting of 16-year-old local girl

Local

National Weather Service outlines heavy rain concern for Southeast Texas

Local

Willie Mae Elmore, former Port Arthur ISD trustee, nurse educator, dies at 74

High School Sports

Port Neches-Groves’ Morgan Campbell setting school record pace en route to regionals

Local

Troop Industrial earns special Veteran-owned small business certification

Local

Port Arthur and Beaumont Rotary Clubs, 100 Black Men of Greater Beaumont gathering for Sleep in Heavenly Peace impact

Local

Authorities identify 21-year-old Nederland man killed in ATV crash

Groves

Stolen vehicle chase into Port Arthur and Groves leads to continued suspects search

Local

FAMILY TRADITION — Darlean’s Market and Café earns success, recognition

Local

Local man says he was poisoned when he threatened 2 people with hatchet