Texas U.S. senator meets with Big Bend-area leaders
ALPINE – Texas U.S. Senator John Cornyn heard concerns from border issues to energy to greater judicial representation during a Monday morning meeting with Big Bend regional leaders, held at Sul Ross State University.
Cornyn, who was touring the region, including stops at McDonald Observatory and Big Bend National Park, held an hour-long, roundtable discussion with representatives from Brewster, Jeff Davis, Pecos and Presidio counties in the Morgan University Center.
“I didn’t come to talk, but mainly to listen,” Cornyn said in his brief remarks. He mentioned that taxes, the economy and the nation’s commercial relationship with Mexico remained very important.
Commerce with Mexico affects at least 40 states, not just U.S. border regions, said Cornyn, “and we need to tell that story better.”
At least one speaker agreed, noting that national media’s perception of the U.S.-Mexico border as an extremely dangerous region was detrimental to the region’s tourism.
“We need to be realistic about our borders,” he said. “The national press is really blowing it out of proportion and it’s costing us jobs.”
In Pecos County, concern about the future of energy production stems from discussion about placing the sand dune lizard on the endangered species list. Such designation could affect drilling efforts due to habitat concerns.
Cornyn said that the Senate was monitoring the issue closely. “We’re trying to avoid an unbalanced approach to this issue and not shoot ourselves in the foot.”
Cornyn also said he was working on sensible immigration legislation. Border security remains a serious issue, but he wished to enact legislation that would “encourage legal immigration while we discourage illegal immigration.”
Story filed under: Top Stories