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Ted Cruz's Amendment 3 Gutting Citizenship Now in Markup

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Update: Cruz 3 has just been rejected on a 5-13 vote. Senators supporting a permanent, second-class status: Sessions, Lee, Grassley, Cruz, Cornyn.

Right now the Senate Judiciary Committee (#CIRmarkup) is considering Sen. Ted Cruz’s amendment 3, one of the worst amendments that has been proposed to the Senate Gang of 8 immigration bill.  Cruz seems to think that citizenship is a “poison pill” and that the only way the bill can pass through the House is without the pathway to citizenship.  We ask him: what does he want to do with Eric?

Eric Balderas is a current undergraduate at Harvard College.  Like Ted Cruz, he wasn’t born in this country.  Like Ted Cruz, he came to the US at a young age and settled in Texas, where he grew up, went to school, and eventually became his high school valedictorian.  Like Ted Cruz, he attends an Ivy League university.  Like Ted Cruz, Eric wants to pursue a career in public service.

But unlike Ted Cruz, Eric does not have papers and is concerned about how much he will be allowed to contribute to this country, if he is not allowed to someday earn citizenship.  If Sen. Cruz does not want immigrants like Eric to ever be able to attain citizenship, what is his proposed alternative?  Does he want Eric to self-deport?  Or to live forever as a second-class resident in the only country he’s ever called home?  What kind of vision for the country is either option, for a potential 2016 presidential candidate?

Here’s Sen. Chuck Schumer pushing back against Cruz’s damaging idea, which flies against the US’ entire history of immigration policy:

If there is no path to citizenship, there is no immigration reform.  You cannot have an America where people come to work and never achieve citizenship.

To go to a European type citizenship, which has clearly not worked over there…creates a sense of disparity, a sense of alienation. [Citizenship] is the heart of the bill.

This won’t pass in the Senate. Won’t have my vote, you won’t have the vote of a lot of people.

As Fernando Garcia, Executive Director of the Border Network for Human Rights said today:

This shows how far removed Cruz is from Texans, immigrants and Latinos.  He is out of touch with the realities that we know well — that our borders are hyper militarized and that families here want to be citizens and nothing less.

Watch video of the debate over Cruz’s amendment below: