Carter’s spokesperson, Sara Threadgill, says Carter’s resignation has nothing to do with backlash from Tea Party conservatives unhappy with pending House legislation that would provide a so-called “path to citizenship” for illegal immigrants. Some question that, however, as Carter’s decision came just three days after the Americans for Legal Immigration Political Action Committee revoked its endorsement of Carter and called him a “turncoat”.

Carter received heavy criticism from Tea Party groups following an August 20 town hall meeting in Salado in which he presented the pending House legislation, including the proposed path to citizenship: a five-year quasi-probation period for confessed illegal immigrants who wish to remain in the U.S.