HOUSTON, Texas–On the evening of May 2, speaking to a crowd at Houston Baptist University, Senator Ted Cruz spoke about faith and freedom. Breitbart Texas attended the event and the pressing issue of immigration inevitably came up and was addressed by the junior senator.
Cruz ultimately argued that Washington is not approaching the problem of illegal immigration in a productive or earnest manner.
“I think immigration is one of the many issues which Washington, right now, is broken on,” he said. “If you look outside of Washington, there is widespread bipartisan agreement on many issues of immigration. There is overwhelming bipartisan agreement outside of Washington that we’ve got to get serious about securing our borders, and that we’ve got to get serious about stopping the problem of illegal immigration.”
Speaking on a personal note, Cruz added, “I’m the son of an immigrant, who 57 years ago fled Cuba. [He] had been imprisoned and tortured in Cuba, and came here seeking freedom. We need to cherish that every one of us shares that backbone; that we’re the children of those who risked everything for freedom.”
“Unfortunately, what we’ve seen instead, is…the behavior of this White House and of the senate democrats is they’re not interested in solving the problem,” the senator continued. “They’re not interested in fixing the system and making it operate better. Instead, they’re looking for partisan advantage because they believe it will help them in the elections of 2014 and 2016. This is making real immigration reform crash on the rocks of partisan politics. “
While immigration has unquestionably been an issue riddled with party politics on the left, the subject has also remained controversial within the Republican party. Some on the right assert that Democrats continue to push amnesty in order to boost voting numbers.
“Democrats…want more immigrants, particularly illegal immigrants, because they need brand new voters, just warm bodies, more votes,” conservative columnist Ann Coulter said in March during a debate. “Amnesty goes through, and the Democrats have 30 million new voters. I just don’t think Republicans have an obligation to forgive law-breaking just because the Democrats need another 30 million voters.”
Indeed, indicators suggest that most immigrants support Democratic politicians. Last year Breitbart News reported on a Pew Research poll that found that Latino illegal immigrants, given the opportunity to vote, would vote Democratic at an eight-to-one ratio.
Despite widespread disagreements and assertions surrounding immigration, Cruz said there are many areas where the left and right can find common ground.
“If Congress focused on the areas of bipartisan agreement, we could craft an immigration bill that would sail through congress–that would secure the borders, that would address and finally solve the problem of illegal immigration that would improve and streamline legal immigration,” Cruz said.
He concluded, “There is also widespread bipartisan agreement outside of Washington that we need to improve and streamline our legal immigration. So that we can remain a nation that doesn’t just welcome, but that also celebrates legal immigrants. Those [people], as Reagan called them, [who are] Americans by choice.”
Follow Kristin Tate on Twitter @KristinBTate.