Today, as the Senate Judiciary Committee continues its markup of the Gang of 8 immigration bill, the committee may consider one of the most nefarious amendments filed: Ted Cruz’s amendment 3, which (as we’ve written) “would prohibit anyone who had been undocumented for any period of time ever from becoming a United States citizen in the future. This would not only destroy the path to citizenship in the Senate bill—the popular heart of an immigration reform solution—but also turn its back on one hundred years of precedent in immigration policy.”
This ugly amendment from Senator Cruz has one simple goal: to block the path to citizenship for anyone who has ever been in the U.S. as an undocumented immigrant.
Over the weekend, he reiterated his position and explained his flawed reasoning to NPR:
“The way to avoid the bill being voted down in the House of Representatives is to reach a reasonable common-sense compromise,” says Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, “and, in particular, to take off the table a path to citizenship. So I hope that’s what they choose to do.”
In the real world, outside of the intense anti-immigrant fervor of the Ted Cruzes of the world, the path to citizenship is the reasonable common-sense compromise. It’s supported by an overwhelming majority of the American people — 83% according to the most recent NYT/CBS poll. And a path to citizenship is reportedly part of the House “Group of 8” reform proposal.
Here’s the question Ted Cruz hasn’t answered: If there’s no path to citizenship, what are his plans for the 11 million aspiring Americans? It seems like there are three options: mass deportation, self-deportation or a permanent underclass.
We received some insights from Cruz on this subject last August, when he said Mitt Romney should end the Deferred Action For Childhood Arrivals Program (DACA):
Ted Cruz, a Republican senatorial candidate from Texas, said Monday he thinks presidential candidate Mitt Romney should end President Barack Obama’s deferred action policy, going beyond Romney’s line that he doesn’t need to because he’ll fix the problem quickly through Congress.
Asked by Telemundo whether Romney should reinstate deportations of young people granted deferred action, Cruz said, “I do.”
If Cruz wanted to deport DREAMers, then it stands to reason that he wants to deport others. It sounds like he is for deporting as many immigrants as possible, and forbidding the few who get to stay from ever becoming citizens. His plan goes against the whole history of US immigration policy–but Cruz isn’t interested in policy. He apparently wants a political issue to latch onto as he prepares to run for President. Maybe Cruz was too busy with his own campaign last year to see what happened to Mitt Romney, after Romney endorsed the Krikorian/Kobach self-deportation platform and vowed to veto the DREAM Act. While some in the GOP are looking to re-engage Latino voters by passing reform, Ted Cruz is on a mission to wreak havoc on the lives of 11 million aspiring Americans.