Sen. Ted Cruz (TP-Texas) is now facing his own problem on immigration and it does not stem from his sometimes questioned Constitutional qualification to hold the highest office in the land. Rather, Cruz’s position on a path to legalization for undocumented aliens has undergone a rather dramatic shift. When the so-called Gang of Eight bill was up in the Senate, Cruz offered an amendment that would have created a method for those currently in the US illegally to achieve permanent resident status – if not actual citizenship. Cruz now claims that it was a “poison pill” amendment intended to sabotage the bill. But what did Cruz say back then. Let’s here from the good Senator himself on the Senate floor – May 21, 2013.
They [undocumented aliens] would still be eligible for legal status and indeed, under the terms of the bill, they would be eligible for LPR [Lawful Permanent Resident] status as well so that they are out of the shadows, which the proponents of this bill repeatedly point to as their principal objective, to provide a legal status for those who are here illegally to be out of the shadows. This amendment would allow that to happen, but what it would do is remove the pathway to citizenship so that there are real consequences that respect the rule of law and that treat legal immigrants with the fairness and respect they deserve.
And a second point to those advocacy groups that are so passionately engaged. In my view if this committee rejects this amendment — and I think everyone here views it is quite likely this committee will choose to reject this amendment — in my view that decision will make it much much more likely that this entire bill will fail in the House of Representatives. I don’t want immigration reform to fail. I want immigration reform to pass. And so I would urge people of good faith on both sides of the aisle if the objective is to pass common sense immigration reform that secures the borders, that improves legal immigration and that allows those who are here illegally to come in out of the shadows, then we should look for areas of bipartisan agreement and compromise to come together. And this amendment, I believe if this amendment were to pass, the chances of this bill passing into law would increase dramatically. And so I would urge the committee to give it full consideration and to adopt the amendment.
Now I would suggest to all of those who passionately want to see this program fixed, that saying it’s all-or-nothing if there’s no path to citizenship, quote, there is no reform, tying immigration reform hostage to a path to citizenship is not a strategy to pass a bill. It’s a strategy to create partisan division. It’s a strategy that may well result in more political battles. But it’s not a strategy to fix the problem and so I would urge everyone on this committee to roll up our sleeves and fix the problem in a humane way that secures the border, gets serious about fixing that problem, that expands and improves legal immigration and that does not unfairly treat legal immigrants by removing a path to citizenship but allowing as this legislation does a legal status for those who are here illegally. That would be reform that a great many people across this country, both Republican and Democrat, would embrace and I would urge the committee to consider the amendment.
So Ted told us, that he “wants immigration reform to pass,” that he was in favor of “common-sense immigration reform,” that he “wanted to fix the problem in a humane way,” and that he was in favor of “legal status for those who are here illegally.” But really folks, he was just joshing, pulling our leg, he didn’t really mean it, he wasn’t sincere, just doing his act. His website now says nothing about such measures and instead is a laundry list of options to deal with undocumented aliens as harshly as possible.
So as the old joke goes, “How can you tell when Ted Cruz is lying?” His lips are moving.