Ted Cruz Not Interested in Citizenship for Illegal Immigrants

Posted: Apr 03, 2013 9:00 AM

Texas Senator Ted Cruz isn't interested in any type of path to citizenship for illegal immigrants when it comes to illegal immigration reform and the "Gang of Eight" reform bill. From Sean Hannity's radio show yesterday:

SEAN HANNITY: Now, where do you stand on this immigration bill? Marco Rubio -- apparently, Chuck Schumer was saying this weekend that the bill of the Gang of Eight is going to move forward and Marco said not so fast it's got to go through regular order and Rand Paul has an amendment that I'd like to see included in that and that is trust but verify in terms of verifying and confirming that the borders would be secure and you got a secure the borders first or it's a no deal for anybody.

SEN. TED CRUZ (R-TX): Well, it depends on what the details are that are in the bill. We still haven't actually seen the bill. Chuck Schumer keeps promising that there is some bill that one day he'll show the world.

What I've been saying for a long time is I think they're part of the deal that that could be positive. I think to the extent they're increasing resources to secure the border, to increase manpower, to give technology on the border, to just stop illegal immigration, I think that's a good thing. To the extent they are improving and streamlining legal immigration so our legal immigration system works better, I think that's a good thing also.

The part that I’ve got deep concerns about is any path to citizenship for those who are here illegally. I think that is profoundly unfair to the millions of legal immigrants who have followed the rules, who have waited in line. And so, I think the reason that President Obama is insisting on a path to citizenship is that it is designed to be a poison pill to scuttle the whole bill, so he can have a political issue in 2014 and 2016. I think that's really unfortunate.

HANNITY: What about what Rubio's been saying about a path to a green card? Even Jeb Bush -- I mean, it's very interesting because I've interviewed former Gov. Bush, I've interviewed Marco [Rubio], I've interviewed Rand Paul, I've interviewed you and there are certain components of each one's plan that interests me.

Like, for example, Jeb Bush's plan doesn't even lead to a path towards citizenship. Marco's insists on, you know, this is a path to a green card with maybe the potential, after you've been put in the back of the line, later for citizenship. Rand Paul is saying trust, but verify on the borders, which I think is a really good component.

I mean, if we first of all secured the border, that to me, it doesn't go anywhere unless that is done first. Do you think the president would be willing to do that?

CRUZ: Well, I think the American people have learned before that when politicians promise to secure the border, every time it's beens aid in the past, it hasn't happened. So, I think most voters share the skepticism about it. […] I think most voters share the skepticism I have about empty promises and hot air.

HANNITY: Well, and that's why, I think the trust and verify provision -- is that one you support?

CRUZ: I think anything that requires securing the border first is a step in the right direction. But I think that a path to citizenship is designed not to pass.

Meanwhile, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy has agreed to consider to hold a single hearing about new immigration legislation. That's right, a single hearing. From a letter to Senator Marco Rubio from Leahy yesterday:

The Judiciary Committee is capable of swift and thorough action. As soon as we have comprehensive immigration legislation to review, I will consider scheduling a hearing, in consultation with Senator Grassley, the Ranking Republican on Committee, and Senator Schumer, the Immigration Subcommittee Chair, to examine that proposal. I will, however, remain mindful of the urgent need for us to actually get to the work of debating and considering amendments without unnecessary delay because this is an issue to which our attention is long overdue. I am hopeful you recognize, as I do, that if we do not act quickly and decisively we will lose the opportunity we now have to fix our immigration system.

As a reminder, Democrats want to pass an immigration bill to see what's in it.

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