Texas Senator and Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz stated that he would “enforce the law” and deport people who are in the US illegally and “apprehended” and that the “principle that really should govern how we view this” is “legal good, illegal bad” during CNN’s coverage of the GOP presidential debate on Tuesday.
Cruz was asked, “What would you do with the 11 million, or however many are in this country illegally?” He answered, “I would enforce the law, and existing law provides what you do. you start by securing the border, so you’re not — you know, if you have a sinking ship, the first thing you do is fill the hole, so that you don’t have people coming back in. The second thing is you start deporting illegal — criminal illegal aliens. So, in 2013, the Obama administration released about 104,000 criminal illegal aliens. You begin enforcing the law. So, if someone is apprehended crossing illegally, if someone is apprehended by ICE, you enforce the law, which is you deport them.”
When asked, “what do you with the 11 million already here, some of whom have been here a decade or more?
Well, if you look at what prior administrations have done, as I noted in the debate, the Bill Clinton administration, deported 12 million people.”
Interviewer Jake Tapper then cut in to ask, “So, you would deport them?
Cruz responded, “I would enforce the law. That’s — the president does not have the authority to say, ‘I don’t like this law. I’m not going to enforce it.’ You enforce the law, and federal law, federal immigration law provides that if someone is here illegally, and is apprehended, that they should be sent back to their home country, and we need to enforce the law. And it is critical. Now, listen, I’m also a big advocate of welcoming and celebrating legal immigrants, and those are different. I think most Americans agree with that very simple principle that legal, good, illegal, bad. And I think that’s — that that’s a principle that really should govern how we view this.”
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