Ted Cruz on Immigration

Republican Texas Senator


Use all tools available to stop asylum for migrant caravan

Q: President Trump has issued executive orders to restrict how migrants crossing the border illegally can claim asylum. You criticized President Obama for changing laws by "executive fiat."

CRUZ: What Obama did repeatedly is his executive orders said "we will defy the law passed by Congress." If an executive order is directing how the executive will behave, then it's constitutional.

Q: So, is this asylum change okay?

CRUZ: The President is charged under federal law with securing the border. This so-called migrant caravan of over 10,000 people marching north, declaring their intention to cross the border illegally-- I told the President just recently, "Under no circumstances should we let them cross; we should use whatever tools are available--whether it is border patrol, or the military--but we shouldn't allow 10,000 to blatantly and deliberately violate the law." There is a right way to come to this country--and that's following the law, waiting in line, and following the rules.

Source: CBS Face the Nation 2018 interviews of 2020 hopefuls , Nov 11, 2018

Enforce the law but also keep families together

Q: Trump's past policy of family separation at the border is one area where you broke with the administration.

CRUZ: Well listen, this is something we should all come together on. When it comes to family separation, everyone should agree. The right place for kids to be is with their parents.

Q: Will you say, "Mr. President, this isn't the right policy"?

CRUZ: I've been very clear to the president. We need to enforce the law but we should also keep families together.

Source: ABC This Week on 2018 Texas Senate race , Oct 21, 2018

No path to citizenship to DREAMers or anyone else

Q: Support path to citizenship for "DACA" recipients or "Dreamers," who grew up in US after coming as children?

Ted Cruz (R): No. End DACA. No path to citizenship to Dreamers or anyone else who violates immigration laws.

Beto O'Rourke (D): Protect Dreamers. "As American as my kids. & have done everything we've asked of them." Supports earned path to citizenship for millions here illegally.

Source: 2018 CampusElect.org Issue Guide on Texas Senate race , Oct 9, 2018

Bar refugees from terrorist-ridden regions

Border security is national security. Cruz introduced two bills to protect Americans from an influx of refugees who could be a national security risk, including legislation barring refugees from terrorist-ridden regions and legislation to recognize governors' authority to protect the citizens in their states by rejecting to resettle refugees in their state.
Source: 2016 presidential campaign website TedCruz.org , Mar 15, 2016

Children deported with parents can come back, if citizens

Q: Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals--DACA--is a program that has protected young people, brought to the U.S. by undocumented immigrants.

RUBIO: DACA is an executive order that is unconstitutional. I will cancel it on my first day in office, which means people who currently hold those permits will not be allowed to renew them, and new people will not be allowed to apply for them. I am sympathetic to the plight of someone who came here when they were 2 years old, but you can't solve it doing something that is unconstitutional.

CRUZ: Existing law provides that those who are deported cannot come back here legally. U.S. citizens can come back. That's existing law.

Source: 2016 CNN-Telemundo Republican debate on eve of Texas primary , Feb 25, 2016

I led the fight to defeat the Reid-Schumer amnesty bill

Sen. Marco RUBIO: Amnesty is the forgiveness of a wrongdoing without consequence and I've never supported that. There has to be consequences for violating immigration laws.

CRUZ: When Harry Reid and Chuck Schumer were leading the fight to pass a massive amnesty plan, I led the fight to defeat that plan. The question for anyone on illegal immigration is where were you in that fight?

RUBIO: When that issue was being debated, at a committee hearing, Cruz said, "I want immigration reform to pass. I want people to be able to come out of the shadows." And he proposed an amendment that would legalize people here. Not only that, he proposed doubling the number of green cards. He proposed a 500 percent increase on guest workers. Now he is a passionate opponent of all those things. He either wasn't telling the truth then or he isn't telling the truth now.

CRUZ: I have promised to rescind every single illegal executive action, including that one.

Source: 2016 CBS Republican primary debate in South Carolina , Feb 13, 2016

FactCheck: Yes, Bill Clinton deported 12M illegal aliens

Ted Cruz, debating the possibility of deporting an estimated 11 million illegal immigrants, asked, "Do you know how many aliens Bill Clinton deported? 12 million. Do you know how many illegal aliens, George W. Bush deported? 10 million."

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:

8,300,000Reagan (1981-1988)
4,100,000Bush Sr. (1989-1992)
4,100,000Clinton (1993-2000)
10,300,000Bush Jr. (2001-2008)
3,200,000Obama first term (2009-2012; on track for 6 million total)
Those figures include both "removals and returns." Cruz's point is that 11 million deportations have been accomplished before.
Source: OnTheIssues FactCheck on 2015 CNN/Salem Republican debate , Dec 15, 2015

Build a wall instead of massive amnesty plan

Q [to Sen. Rubio]: You describe a very long path, but does that path end at citizenship?

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.

Source: 2015 CNN/Salem Republican two-tier debate , Dec 15, 2015

Enforce the law against millions of illegals currently here

RUBIO: As far as Ted Cruz's record, I'm always puzzled by his attack on immigration. Ted, you support legalizing people who are in this country illegally. Ted Cruz supported a 500% increase in the number of H-1 visas, the guest workers that are allowed into this country, and Ted supports doubling the number of green cards.

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.

Source: 2015 CNN/Salem Republican two-tier debate , Dec 15, 2015

Illegals are an economic calamity for low-wage Americans

For those who believe people 'ought to come to this country legally, we're tired of being told it's anti-immigrant. I am the son of an immigrant who came legally from Cuba. We can embrace legal immigration while believing in the rule of law. Try going illegally to another country. Try going to China, or Japan. Try going to Mexico. See what they do. Every sovereign nation secures its borders, and it is not compassionate to say we're not going to enforce the laws.
Source: Fox Business/WSJ Second Tier debate , Nov 10, 2015

Support Kate's Law: oppose our leaders who won't enforce

Q: About the murder of Kate Steinle, allegedly shot down by an illegal immigrant--will you support Kate Steinle's Law, which would impose a mandatory five-year prison term for an illegal who is deported and then returns to this country?

CRUZ: Absolutely yes. And not only will I support it I have authored Kate's law in the United States Senate and filed that legislation. I tried to get the Senate to vote to pass Kate's law on the floor of the Senate just one week ago, and the leader of our own party blocked a vote on Kate's law. You know, there was reference made [by Donald Trump] about our leaders being stupid. It's not a question of stupidity. It's that they don't want to enforce the immigration laws. That there are far too many in the Washington cartel that support amnesty. There's 7 billion people across the face of the globe, many of whom want to come to this country. If they come legally, great. But if they come illegally & get amnesty, that would fundamentally change this country.

Source: Fox News/Facebook Top Ten First Tier debate transcript , Aug 6, 2015

Path to citizenship is profoundly unfair to legal immigrants

The Texas senator is pretty unequivocal: "I think a path to citizenship for those who are here illegally is profoundly unfair to the millions of legal immigrants who followed the rules," Cruz told ABC in 2013.

Cruz has repeatedly referred to President Obama's executive order as "lawless amnesty," and in 2013, he filed an amendment that would deny a pathway to citizenship to undocumented immigrants. However, Cruz has shown some vague support for a "path to legal status," according to The New York Times. He has also proposed doubling the number of green cards given out each year.

Cruz has opposed the DREAM Act, which would "provide illegal immigrants who were brought to the United States as children a path to permanent residency if they attend college or serve in the military." In 2014, he unsuccessfully tried to reverse Obama's executive order to halt the deportation of young, undocumented immigrants.

Source: National Journal 2016 series: Republicans on immigration , Feb 23, 2015

End Obama's illegal amnesty via Congress' checks & balances

Q: How to respond to the split within your party on immigration? What you're saying is that the Republicans should vote to fund the governments for all departments except one: no funding for the Department of Homeland Security, which handles immigration, rescinding President Obama's executive action, and if he vetoes that, he's responsible for shutting down the department. The problem is that's almost exactly what you did with the government shutdown across the entire government in 2013 with ObamaCare, and it backfired badly on your party.

CRUZ: All across this country, Republicans campaigned, saying: if you elect a Republican Senate, we will stop President Obama's illegal amnesty. We need to honor what we said. We should use the constitutional checks and balances that we have to rein in the abuse of power of the executive. Step #1 is if the president implements this lawless amnesty, that the Senate will not confirm any executive or judicial nominees.

Source: Fox News Sunday 2014 interview of 2016 presidential hopefuls , Nov 23, 2014

Defund amnesty; and refuse any nominees until rescinded

Q: How would you rescind President Obama's executive action on immigration?

CRUZ: We should use the constitutional checks and balances that we have to rein in the abuse of power of the executive. Step #1 that I have called for is the incoming majority leader should announce if the president implements this lawless amnesty, that the Senate will not confirm any executive or judicial nominees, other than vital national security positions, for the next two years, unless and until the president ends this lawless amnesty. That is an explicit authority given to the Senate.

Q: Are you saying the Senate should refuse to confirm the president's new nominee for attorney general?

CRUZ: We have to rein in the executive. In the Federalist Papers, our Framers talked about a president who would behave like a monarch. And step #2, we've got is the power of the purse, and we should fund one at a time the critical priorities of the federal government, but also use the power of the purse to attach riders.

Source: Fox News Sunday 2014 interview of 2016 presidential hopefuls , Nov 23, 2014

Democrats want amnesty to get a lot more Democratic voters

Talking to conservative host Rush Limbaugh, Cruz was asked to explain why the Democrats and the Republicans who support the immigration bill want it? Cruz replied: "Well, the Democrats want this for pure politics. They want to grant amnesty, and they hope to get a lot more Democratic voters, or they want this to be voted down and use it as a political issue in 2014 and 2016. On the Republican side, sadly, a lot of the support of it is political as well. You know, after 2012 , all of the Washington political consultants and all the mainstream media came to Republicans and said, 'You've got to do better with Hispanics, and the way to do better with Hispanics is to embrace amnesty.' I gotta tell you, I think that political argument is complete nonsense. If you look at the last time we enacted amnesty in 1986, the next election was 1988, the Republican share of the Hispanic vote went down. It is not the case--Hispanics are not the si
Source: Cruzing to the White House, by Mario Broes, p. 82 , Mar 7, 2014

No path to citizenship for 1.65 million illegals in Texas

When discussing what to do about the 1.65 million illegal immigrants living in Texas, Cruz weaved into the Second Amendment, alleging his opponent didn't support gun rights. "What does this have to do with the question?" Sadler asked before fiercely denying his opponent's allegation. Cruz again said he didn't support a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants living in America, while Sadler said the opposite, as expected.
Source: WFAA-TV Dallas-Fort Worth on 2012 Texas Senate debate , Oct 2, 2012

Give police more power to ask about immigration status

Cruz accused Dewhurst of using his position as head of the Texas Senate to kill a bill last year that would have given police more power to ask anyone they detain about their citizenship status--a charge Dewhurst denied.

Both agreed that the US has failed to secure its border with Mexico, and said they oppose amnesty for illegal immigrants and the Obama administration's new directive allowing many young illegal immigrants brought to the US as children to be exempted from deportation.

Source: San Francisco Chronicle on 2012 Texas Senate debates , Jun 22, 2012

Boots on the ground, plus a wall

Border wall: James and Leppert oppose a wall, Dewhurst and Cruz tout "boots on the ground" and a wall in some places.
Source: BurntOrangeReport.com on 2012 Texas Senate Debate , Apr 18, 2012

Triple the size of the Border Patrol

Cruz on immigration: Wants to triple size of Border Patrol. Says Dewhurst supported in-state tuition for kids of illegal immigrants.

Dewhurst: I have always been against an amnesty program. "If they want to be a citizen, they ought to go home and reapply."

Dewhurst says he was against tuition for children of illegal immigrants.

Source: KVUE coverage of 2012 Texas Senate debate , Mar 29, 2012

Strengthen border security and increase enforcement

Ted Cruz has worked to strengthen border security and help ensure that America remains a nation of laws. Among other efforts, he has worked on efforts to increase penalties for felons who enter the country illegally.

Ted authored a U.S. Supreme Court amicus brief on behalf of 10 states in Lopez v. Gonzales, urging the strictest enforcement of laws punishing those with prior felony convictions who entered the country illegally.

Source: Campaign website, www.tedcruz.org, "Issues" , Jul 17, 2011

ICE performs vital functions that protect American families.

Cruz signed Press release from 19 Senators on Resolution to Support ICE

Nineteen U.S. Senators introduced a resolution denouncing the radical calls for the dissolution of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

ICE performs vital functions that protect American families. Last year, agents worked tirelessly around the clock to rescue 1,422 victims of human trafficking. More than 900 of those victims were children. ICE agents also removed a million pounds of narcotics and more than 4,800 gang members from the streets of this country. Those numbers are just a small fraction of the nearly 127,000 arrests made by ICE agents last year against people who came here and committed violent crimes against law-abiding Americans. Those criminals were responsible for more than 50,000 assaults, 2,000 kidnappings and 1,800 homicides.

`I am deeply troubled by the Democrats` reckless calls to abolish ICE. Eliminating ICE shows a blatant disregard for the welfare of the American people and our nation`s immigration laws,` said Sen. John Neely Kennedy (R-LA). `With the ever present threat of MS-13 and international terrorism, along with an opioid crisis being fought at our border, abolishing ICE is unthinkable. ICE officers are in the trenches fighting those threats and protecting American families from the cross-border crime and illegal immigration that endanger our families. ICE deserves our gratitude and respect, not scorn and ridicule.`

`Washington Democrats wanting to abolish ICE, our country`s immigration law enforcement agency, are essentially demanding open borders,` said Sen. Cassidy (R-LA). `Assaults on ICE officers nearly tripled in 2017, so instead of attacking them, we should support them as they work to secure our borders, stop the flow of deadly drugs, break up violent gangs like MS-13, rescue human trafficking victims, and keep our communities safe.`

Source: Press release from 19 Senators on Resolution to Support ICE 18LTR-ICE on Jul 12, 2018

Support national emergency at the Southern border.

Cruz voted NAY Joint Resolution on Proclamation 9844

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives: That the national emergency declared by the finding of the President on February 15, 2019, in Proclamation 9844 is hereby terminated.

Proclamation 9844 issued by the president on Feb. 15, 2019: Declares a state of national emergency at the southern border to address the issues of illegal immigration and criminal trafficking into the US: `The current situation at the southern border presents a border security and humanitarian crisis that threatens core national security interests and constitutes a national emergency. The southern border is a major entry point for criminals, gang members, and illicit narcotics. The problem of large-scale unlawful migration through the southern border is long-standing, and despite the executive branch`s exercise of existing statutory authorities, the situation has worsened in certain respects in recent years. Because of the gravity of the current emergency situation, it is necessary for the Armed Forces to provide additional support to address the crisis.`

Opposing the Proclamation (supporting the Resolution), ACLU press release, 2/15/2019 The ACLU issued the following statement upon filing a lawsuit: `By the president`s very own admission in the Rose Garden, there is no national emergency. He just grew impatient and frustrated with Congress, and decided to move along his promise for a border wall `faster.` This is a patently illegal power grab that hurts American communities and flouts the checks and balances that are hallmarks of our democracy.`

Legislative outcome Passed House 245-182-5 roll #94 on Feb. 26; pass Senate 59-41 roll #49 on March 14; Vetoed by Pres. Trump; veto override failed, 248-181-3 (2/3 required), roll #127 on March 26

Source: Congressional vote 19-HJR46 on Feb 26, 2019

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