Like Cornyn, he said the 15,000 yearly visas proposed for construction workers nationwide falls short.

“It’s a pathetic attempt to address a real shortfall in addressing our economic needs,” he said. “And the low-skilled immigrant visas, the numbers seem woefully inadequate to me.”

Staples said he was encouraged that the bill could be amended, but he warned that not having a market-based system is a perpetuation of a shadow economy that cheats workers and taxpayers.

This article originally appeared in The Texas Tribune at