AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — With nearly 2 million illegal immigrants and a 1,200-mile border with Mexico, Texas has more at stake than most states in the renewed push to overhaul the nation's immigration system.
Yet so far, Gov. Rick Perry and Republicans who control the Legislature have been sitting this debate out.
As President Barack Obama and Congress put immigration reform back on the table, there's been a silence from Texas Republicans who made illegal immigration a big part of their agenda just two years ago. When Perry delivered his State of the State recently, glaringly absent in the 37-minute speech was any mention of the issue.
Republicans say a shift nationally in how the party views immigration is trickling down to the states. The GOP is eager to attract more Hispanic voters.