Republican presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) is laying out an immigration plan focused on ending illegal immigration, restoring the rule of law, halting birthright citizenship and developing a legal immigration system to “better serve American workers.”
“The commonsense principles that most of us understand and most Americans agree with on immigration, they’re not complicated: It’s legal good, illegal bad. Why is that so complicated for anyone in Washington to understand?” Cruz asked Friday afternoon at a campaign rally in Orlando.
In laying out his plan Cruz took the media and “Washington cartel” to task for ignoring the plight of the American worker in the face of illegal immigrants depressing wages and taking jobs.
“A steady flow of illegal immigrants coming in, driving down wages impacts the wages of just about every person here. As I observed in the last debate if it was a bunch of people coming over with journalism degrees, driving down the wages of the media, then suddenly people would discover, ‘Goodness gracious this must stop,’” he said.
Cruz, the son of a legal immigrant from Cuba, recalled the last Republican presidential debate in which establishment candidates tripped over themselves to come out in support of amnesty.
“My head was exploding. There is nothing compassionate about a politician saying, ‘I’m so compassionate, I’m willing to give away your job,’” Cruz said. “That’s not compassionate. And you know what, no other country on earth does this. Try sneaking into Canada or England or France or China. Try sneaking into Mexico!”
“Do our laws not deserve the same respect as every other country on earth?” he asked.
Cruz’s plan is based on three central facets: securing the border, restoring the rule of law, and reforming legal immigration.
Included in that plan is the construction of a wall “that works,” tripling the number of Border Patrol agents, increasing aerial surveillance and border technology, and instituting a complete biometric entry-exit tracking system to prevent visa overstays.
“I give you my solemn word today, if I am elected president we will secure the border,” the candidate said, to chants of “Cruz, Cruz, Cruz.”
Cruz lampooned the Obama administration for the break down in immigration enforcement, contrasting it with his plan to restore the rule of law — including ending President Obama’s executive amnesty the first day he is in office.
The Texas Republican’s plan further calls for an increase in deportations, an end to catch and release, halting sanctuary city policies, instituting Kate’s Law, strengthening E-Verify and prohibiting illegal immigrants from receiving benefits.
“The President has plenty of time for Ahmed the clock kid but no time for Kate Steinle,” he said, contrasting Obama’s failure to acknowledge the murder of Steinle at the hands of a multiple deportee, multiple felon illegal immigrant, with his plan to stop sanctuary cities and enforce the law.
The third plank of his plan deals with legal immigration, namely preventing increases in legal immigration as long as the unemployment rate is high and workforce participation rate is low, enforcing the rule that immigrants to the U.S. must be self-sufficient, and ending birthright citizenship.
“It is well past time to end birthright citizenship,” he said.
Cruz further called for a suspension of the issuance of all H-1B visas for 180 days to investigate and audit the program and then institute a number of reforms to the system to protect American workers.
The Texas lawmaker recalled the effort to push through the Gang of Eight comprehensive immigration reform bill — without naming Gang of Eight member and GOP presidential candidate Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) — Cruz said that was the time for choosing.
“Where you stood up and lined up on the gang of eight bill was a time for choosing, for each leader to decide — ‘do you stand with the Washington cartel? Or do you stand with the working men and women of this country? And I give you my word as president I will always always always stand with the working men and women of this country,’” he said.
Cruz further made the political argument against amnesty, explaining that amnesty will lead to Democratic leaders, particularly in states like Florida and Texas.
“If you support amnesty you are supporting Florida having Democratic governors for as far as the eye can see. If you support amnesty you are supporting our national debt growing and growing and growing and growing and bankrupting our kids and grandkids,” Cruz said, going on to extend the ramifications of amnesty to Democrats’ assaults on religious liberty, Second Amendment, and privacy as well as supporting common core, Iran with nuclear weapons, appeasement of radical Islamic terrorism, and abandoning Israel.