Louisiana conservatives balk at immigration reform
They fear plans in Washington won't fully secure the border
Despite the math that shows seven in ten Latino voters chose President Obama last November, Congressional conservatives from Louisiana are cool to plans for comprehensive immigration reform -- including a bi-partisan plan being pushed by some in their own Republican party.
The senate plan by four Republicans and four Democrats calls for securing the border before granting a pathway to citizenship for the estimated 11-million undocumented immigrants already in the U.S. Likely future presidential contender Marco Rubio of Florida is among the GOP senators who made the deal. But Louisiana Senator David Vitter isn't buying it.
"We have a president and an administration that have proved time and time again they have no will, no focus, on real enforcement," Vitter said on the Senate floor on Monday after the plan was unveiled.
If that plan makes it to the House, Louisiana Congressman John Fleming wants a close look at the details.
"They need to come forward with legislation that will certify we have secure borders. And that we're tracking people that are on visas and that they can't stay in the country illegally," Fleming said.
And Fleming is flat out opposed to the president's plan for citizenship that sounds similar to the Senate's
As President Obama described it to an audience in Las Vegas on Tuesday, "A process that includes passing a background check, paying taxes, paying a penalty, learning English, and then going to the back of the line behind all the folks who are trying to come here legally."
But the president's plan calls for no additional border security. That falls well short of GOP demands for tighter enforcement.
KTBS 3 Political Analyst Trey Gibson says Fleming and Vitter's opposition to what they view as amnesty "won't hurt them" in Louisiana. But Gibson says it could hurt the GOP nationally.
"Hispanics have taken over as the largest minority in the U.S., and they have voting power. And if the Repuoblicans don't recognize that as we saw in this last election it is going to kill them in future presidential elections," Gibson says.
From the border state of Texas, Republican Senators John Cornyn and Ted Cruz have voiced reservations about the bi-partisan outline. On the Democratic side, Mary Landrieu of Louisiana calls the framework "a good start."
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