With immigration reform on the agenda in Washington, U.S. Congressman Joaquin Castro of San Antonio predicted today that some sort of path to citizenship will be created for undocumented workers.
At the annual Texas Association of Business conference today, Castro said the current immigration system creates a second class of people who can never gain citizenship. However, he believes that society's changed views on immigration ultimately will lead to change in policy.
“Remember, this issue has evolved a lot. Ten years ago, there were people that said we don’t even want a guest program and we need to pull everybody back and get them out of there," Castro said.
Castro said that Texas trades with Mexico more than any other state, so it has the most at stake with immigration reform economically. Also, businesses such as agriculture rely heavily on undocumented workers.
"There are a handful of American industries that wouldn't exist without undocumented immigrants," he said. "That's not a fact people like. But it's a fact."
Castro called for an efficient immigration system, citing an article from the San Antonio Express News reporting that a U.S. citizen had petitioned for his brother to immigrate in 1996 and only this year has been granted a visa.
"Most Americans including myself would agree, these folks are undocumented should go to back behind the other people who have been in line," Castro added. "But only if that line is moving."