Congressman, son of migrants, takes lead on immigration reform

The San Antonio Express News, in a story picked up by Chron.com, reports on the new face of immigration reform in the U.S. Congress.

Born into South Texas poverty as the son of migrant workers, a man who rose from shoeshine boy to sheriff to U.S. congressman is the face of the immigration reform bill set to slog its way through the House of Representatives this year.

That’s by design. Rep. Solomon Ortiz, D-Corpus Christi, a 27-year veteran of legislative battles, isn’t the only Democrat who concedes the road for immigration reform is steeply uphill in a mid-term election year.

But the bill’s backers are counting on the Robstown native to draw on his life experience to argue that immigration reform is needed to protect Americans and immigrants alike.

“When I was sheriff, you would be surprised how many news reports of skeletons they found in the field: of women, children, females who died on their way to the United States,” he said. “This is painful.”

Ortiz said illegal immigration must be stopped through a reform of broken laws.

Read the full story here.

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