RUBIO: After ten years in probationary status, where all they have is a permit, I personally am open to allowing people to apply for a green card. That may not be a majority position in my party, but that's down the road. You can't even begin that process until you prove to people--not just pass a law that says you're gonna bring illegal immigration under control--you're gonna have to do it and prove to people that it's working.
CRUZ: There was a time for choosing, as Reagan put it. There was a battle over amnesty and some chose, like Senator Rubio, to stand with Barack Obama and Chuck Schumer and support a massive amnesty plan. Others chose to stand with the American people and secure the border. And I tell you, if I'm elected president, we will secure the border. We will triple the border patrol. We will build a wall that works and I'll get Donald Trump to pay for it.
CRUZ: It is not accurate what he just said that I supported legalization. Indeed, I led the fight against his legalization and amnesty.
RUBIO: Does Ted Cruz rule out ever legalizing people that are in this country now?
CRUZ : I have never supported legalization, and I do not intend to support legalization. Let me tell you how you do this, what you do is you enforce the law. I've laid out a very, very detailed immigration plan on my website. It's 11 pages of existing federal law and in particular the question of what to do with people who are here now? You enforce the law. We can enforce the laws and if we secure the border, that solves the problem.
Is that true? We checked, and found that both of Cruz's figures are accurate. Looking at the Department of Homeland Security's "Yearbook of Immigration Statistics: 2013 Enforcement Actions", the figures in Table 39 are:
|4,100,000||Bush Sr. (1989-1992)|
|10,300,000||Bush Jr. (2001-2008)|
|3,200,000||Obama first term (2009-2012; on track for 6 million total)|
CRUZ: Well, the premise of your question is not accurate. I'm very proud to have joined with conservatives to reform how we target bad guys. And what the USA Freedom Act did is it did two things. #1, it ended the federal government's bulk collection of phone metadata of millions of law-abiding citizens.#2, it strengthened the tools of national security and law enforcement to go after terrorists. The prior program only covered a relatively narrow slice of phone calls, primarily land lines. The USA Freedom Act expands that so now we have cell phones, now we have Internet phones, now we have the phones that terrorists are likely to use and the focus of law enforcement is on targeting the bad guys. We need to focus on radical Islamic terrorists and we need to stop them before they carry out acts of terror.
CRUZ: We need to learn from history. Obama, Clinton, and far too many Republicans--want to topple Assad. Assad is a bad man. But if we topple Assad, the result will be that ISIS will take over Syria, and it will worsen U.S. national security interests. And I'll tell you whose view on Assad is the same as mine. It's Prime Minister Netanyahu. Prime Minister Netanyahu has said Israel doesn't have a dog in that fight because Assad is a puppet of Iran, a Shia radical Islamic terrorist, but at the same time, Prime Minister Netanyahu doesn't want to see Syria governed by ISIS. And we need to focus on American interests, not on global aspirations...
HUCKABEE: If their intent is to kill us, [then] our intent to use every means possible to get to them before they get to us. The rules of engagement have got to be loosened, because we have to make sure that we are not just going over and setting off some fireworks. We have to kill every one of them, to make it very clear that [if you] threaten action against the United States, and you've just signed your death warrant. We're coming to get you. And you won't be coming to our shores. You're going to be going to your funeral.
CRUZ: ISIS is gaining strength because the perception is that they're winning. And President Obama fuels that perception. That will change when militants across the globe see that when you join ISIS that you are giving up your life, you are signing your death warrant, and we need a president who is focused on defeating every single ISIS terrorist and protecting the homeland, which should be the first priority.
The above quotations are from CNN/Salem Republican Debate|
at The Venetian in Las Vegas
Moderated by Wolf Blitzer.