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John Cornyn Runaway Winner of “Biggest Hypocrite on Immigration” Award for Remarks at Hispanic Leadership Conference

Ruben Navarrette Receives “Telling it Like it Is” Award for Speaking Truth About GOP Need to Get Right on Immigration

WASHINGTON - Last week's Republican-backed Hispanic Leadership Network conference
in South Florida overflowed with chatter about how the GOP needs to
improve its positioning with Latino voters.  Amidst all the discussion,
however, few voices at the conference admitted the simple truth that appealing to Latino voters
will not simply require a change in "tone" when it comes to the
immigration issue, but a change in policies advocated by the GOP.  At
the conference, one speaker stood out in particular for his rank
hypocrisy on immigration, continuing an unprecedented effort to portray
himself as a supporter of common sense immigration reform while
consistently working to derail issue.  So without further adieu, and in
the spirit of Hollywood's awards season, America's Voice would like to
honor Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) with the prestigious award of "Biggest
Hypocrite on Immigration, January 2011."

According to Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America's Voice, "It's
truly a dishonor and far from a privilege to present this award to
Senator Cornyn.  While he continues to talk a good game about the need
for common sense immigration reform, every single time it's mattered,
Senator Cornyn has voted the wrong way.  It's incredible that he
continues to blame Democrats for the lack of progress on immigration
solutions, when Senator Cornyn has consistently opposed reform in

At the Hispanic Leadership Network conference, Senator Cornyn portrayed himself as a dedicated advocate for immigration reform and blamed the lack of progress on Democrats. According
to POLITICO, Cornyn "reiterated his commitment to overhauling
immigration, saying a broken system serves neither ‘our interests or our
values.'"  Senator Cornyn said that "It is easy to be skeptical about
the prospects of immigration reform when both the White House and the
United States Senate have been in hands of Democratic leaders who make
promises they have not fulfilled...We can't simply kick the can down the

Cornyn knows from whence he speaks.  Having voted against comprehensive
immigration reform and the DREAM Act each twice during his Senate
career, Cornyn is a master of "kick the can" politics.  He has also
mastered the art of triangulation, claiming to support comprehensive
immigration reform, but insisting that the border should be "secured"
before other elements of reform are taken up.  Given the fact that a
Democrat occupies the White House and is in charge of immigration
enforcement, we're betting that Cornyn and others in the GOP are not
planning to declare the border "secure" before 2013 at the earliest.  

The fact is, the federal government has dramatically bolstered border security and spending, and crimes along the border have actually decreased
The missing piece of the puzzle is a fair and practical way of dealing
with the 11 million undocumented immigrants in our country today,
something that Cornyn claims to support but consistently votes against.

Thankfully, as a counterbalance to Senator Cornyn, another conference
attendee stood out for actually speaking the truth.  Syndicated
conservative columnist Navarrette wins the "Telling It Like It Is" award
for voicing an uncomfortable truth to many of his fellow conservatives:
namely, that they are in a deep rut of denial regarding Latino outreach
if they think that they can fix their "Latino problem" through a few
simple changes in rhetoric.  Said
Navarrette at the conference, "If you come away thinking that this is
all about language and tone, you will miss the point... You are always
going to be number two...The problem is not the tone.  It is the message
itself-it is offensive, racist. You've got to fix the product."  In his
syndicated column following the conference, entitled
"GOP Needs an Exorcist," Navarrette noted, "When it comes to
immigration, the Republican message is toxic.  There is too much
dishonesty, too much racism and too many simplistic solutions to what is
a complicated problem.  If the GOP wants to make a serious play for
Hispanic voters in 2012 and beyond, this has to change.  The party is
struggling with demons. It doesn't need a publicist. It needs an


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According to Sharry, "Perhaps Cornyn really believes that he can have
it both ways on immigration, and that Latino voters won't bother to
check his rhetoric against his voting record.  But the fact is that when
it comes to common sense immigration reform, Sen. Cornyn has far more
in common with Lamar Smith, Steve King, and the anti-immigrant zealots
that are steering the Republican Party off a political cliff than he
does the Bush brothers.  Here's hoping responsible Republicans actually
listen to what Navarrette and Latino voters have been saying, end the
blame game on immigration reform, and work together on a real solution."

Read America's Voice Memo on the Republican Party and Immigration

Watch Video of Senator Cornyn at the Hispanic Leadership Conference

Watch Video of Ruben Navarrette at the Hispanic Leadership Conference



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America's Voice -- Harnessing the power of American voices and American values to win common sense immigration reform. The mission of America’s Voice is to realize the promise of workable and humane comprehensive immigration reform. Our goal is to build the public support and create the political momentum for reforms that will transform a dysfunctional immigration system that does not work into a regulatory system that does.

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