Quorum Report Daily Buzz Quorum Report Daily Buzz Login into the Quorum Report Subscribe toQuorum Report
Quorum Report Daily Buzz

August 7, 2014      11:19 AM

Immigration talk simmers, but does not boil over, at Central Texas congressional town hall

"We've got to not be angry Republicans”

BASTROP – Now that Congress is on recess following an ugly meltdown over immigration and border security last week, lawmakers in Texas and around the country are diving into the time-honored tradition of trying to explain what just happened and listening to voters’ frustrations during town halls in places big and small. In this town at the northern edge of the enormous Texas 27th Congressional District – yes, the congressman representing Bastrop is the one from Corpus Christi 183 miles away – Rep. Blake Farenthold spoke with constituents for about 90 minutes Wednesday night.

Despite incendiary comments from the crowd at Bastrop City Hall including a reference to a “noose” for President Obama as well as a woman asking why we don’t have better border fences, Rep. Farenthold managed to keep a calm tone and even mentioned his support for a guest worker program without getting much pushback.

The event was considerably more civil than what State Rep. David Simpson, R-Longview, experienced recently at an East Texas town hall or the town hall hosted by Rep. John Carter, R-Round Rock, about a year ago in which he tried to sell an angry crowd on a guest worker program. Carter and Simpson were both subjected to blistering criticism from self-identified Tea Partiers for either supporting immigration reform or, in the case of Simpson, asking for a compassionate response to the humanitarian crisis Texas now faces. Simpson has not backed down.

In his opening remarks, Farenthold said drug smugglers and human traffickers have grossly misrepresented President Obama’s executive action two years ago on young immigrants. The Deferred Action for Child Arrivals, or DACA, has been “twisted by the coyotes” to promote the idea in Central and South America that if parents send their kids to the United States they’ll be allowed to stay, Farenthold said.

By Scott Braddock