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Cruz: Rubio Broke Promises From 2010, And Supports Citizenship, I Would ‘Enforce the Law’ On People in the US Illegally

Republican presidential candidate Texas Senator Ted Cruz stated that he would “enforce the law” when asked what he would do with illegal immigrants in the US, argued that his amendment to the Gang of Eight bill didn’t allow legalization and was designed to defeat the bill, and that Rubio broke the promise he made on immigration when he ran for the Senate in 2010 during an interview broadcast on Friday’s “On the Record with Greta Van Susteren” on the Fox News Channel.

Cruz was asked, [relevant remarks begin around 3:50] “There are 11 to 12 million people illegally here in this country. What would you do with those 11 or 12 million people?” He answered, “I would enforce the law. What does federal law say? If you apprehend someone here illegally, you deport them.”

He was then asked, “you would do a round up of 12 million people?” Cruz responded, “If you or I crossed into another country, if we crossed into China, or Germany, or France, or Mexico, they would deport us. Why do American laws deserve less respect than every other country’s?”

Van Susteren pressed, “are you saying that you would deport 12 million people?”

Cruz said, “Let me provide absolute clarity on this issue, and I actually thought the debate was very valuable. You know, the most important statement at that debate, was for the first time in five debates, Marco Rubio made explicit number one, that he supported Barack Obama and [Sen.] Chuck Schumer’s (D-NY) amnesty, but number two, that he still supports it. … here’s what Marco said explicitly Tuesday night, that today, right now as a presidential candidate, he supports granting citizenship to 12 million people here illegally.”

Cruz added, “he had been trying to run away from that [the Gang of Eight bill]. In the first four debates, he had run away from that he was pretending he no longer supported his own bill.”

Van Susteren cut in to ask, “How would you get those 12 million out of the country?”

Cruz stated, “Let me explicit on the difference, because, listen, Senator Rubio’s campaign, they’re very concerned, because conservatives are uniting behind our campaign. So, they’re trying to confuse everyone. So, let’s provide some absolute clarity, Senator Rubio supports amnesty. I oppose amnesty. Senator Rubio supports citizenship. I oppose citizenship. Senator Rubio supports legalization. I oppose legalization. Senator Rubio joined Chuck Schumer to fight for the Gang of Eight. I joined with [Sen.] Jeff Sessions (R-AL), [Rep.] Steve King (R-IA), and the American people, and we defeated the Gang of Eight.”

Van Susteren followed-up, “How are you going to get 12 million people out of the country?” Cruz answered, “You enforce the law. And so I’ve laid out, you want chapter and verse? … So, the full detail is on our website, tedcruz.org. I’ve got 11 pages, single-space of full detail, but let me give you the overview. We will build a wall that works, existing federal law requires 700 miles of double-layered fencing. We will triple the Border Patrol. We will increase fourfold the fixed wing and rotary wing aircraft. We will put in place a strong biometric exit-entry system, because 40% of illegal immigration doesn’t come across the border, it’s visa overstays. We’ll put in place a strong E-Verify system. We will end sanctuary cities.”

Van Susteren responded, “That prevents 12 million from getting 13 million, but what are you doing with the 12 million already here?” Cruz stated, “When you apprehend them, you deport them.” When asked if he would “send out a force” to find people in the US, Cruz stated, “We will use our existing Border Patrol and customs enforcement to enforce the law.”

Later, he was asked, “So, you’re not going to affirmatively go out and look for them?” To which he answered, “Of course you are. That’s what existing law is.”

He was then asked, “if you become a president Ted Cruz, you’re going to send some law enforcement out to pick up the 12 who are here illegally?” Cruz answered, “Do you know how many people Bill Clinton deported in eight years, how many? 12 million. And how many did George W. Bush deport? 10 million. … Well, how did Bill Clinton do it? How did George W. Bush do it. You can enforce enforce the law. The problem was, when they deported those folks, Greta, they came right back in, because we didn’t have the borders secured, so it’s why I start with border security.”

Van Susteren then followed up, “anybody who gets picked up who’s here illegally, will get sense home, right?” Cruz responded, “You follow the law. That’s what the law says.”

Cruz was then asked, “But you’re not going to form some sort of independent law enforcement, or create an executive order to tell people to go out get these people, are you?”

He answered, “We actually have law enforcement, it’s called the Border Patrol. It’s called Immigration and Customs Enforcement.”

Van Susteren objected, “They’re not running around Washington, DC right now picking up people.” Cruz countered, “They are charged with securing the border, and enforcing our immigration law. So, let’s take 2013, for example. In 2013, the Obama administration released 104,000 people, criminal illegal aliens, they released them. They released 196 murderers. They released roughly 400 with sexual assault convictions. We can enforce the law. What’s missing is the political will to get it done.”

The discussion then turned to the Gang of Eight bill and Cruz’s amendments to it. Van Susteren read a letter Cruz signed that said, “Critically, the Committee rejected an amendment [sponsored by Cruz] that would have allowed immigrants here illegally to obtain legal status — to come out of the shadows and work legally — but not to be eligible for citizenship.”

Cruz pointed to other signatories of the letter, Sessions, Senator Mike Lee (R-UT), and Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA). He added that the amendment didn’t say illegal immigrants would have legal status, but rather would be permanently ineligible for citizenship and was “silent on legalization.” He added that Rubio was erroneously claiming that the amendment means he supported “every other bad aspect” of the Gang of Eight. He also maintained that if the amendment had been adopted, and the bill had passed, the Gang of Eight bill would have given legal status, not his amendment.

He further added, “I have never once supported legalization. I do not now and I will never support it.”

Cruz was also asked about the amendment, “So, it’s a poison pill? He responded, “It is calling their bluff, because what it did, is it revealed the hypocrisy. And I used, very deliberately, the language of the Democrats who were pushing it.”

Van Susteren then asked Cruz, “Why in the days and weeks and months after June 4th, 2013, did it never come up this was a poison pill?”

Cruz stated, “It came up over and over and over again. Chuck Schumer’s publicly said he knew it was a poison pill. In the last 24 hours, Senator Jeff Sessions has gone out publicly and said Ted is right and Marco’s not telling the truth. Senator Mike Lee has come out publicly and said Ted is right, Marco’s not telling the truth.”

Cruz was also asked, “you’re now saying that the whole purpose of the amendment back in 2013 that you put on it was a poison pill. It meant to and designed to kill the whole bill?” He responded, “And it succeeded. It called their bluff, and it succeeded.”

He concluded, “In 2010, Marco Rubio campaigned in Florida, he promised the men and women of Florida, if you elect me, I will lead the fight against amnesty, that was the promise he made. … When I campaigned in Texas, I promised the men and women of Texas, if you elect me, I will lead the fight against amnesty. we made the exact same promises to get elected. When we got to Washington in 2013, there was, as Reagan would put it, a time for choosing. And he made the decision, it was an unfortunate decision, to stand with Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton and Chuck Schumer and the big money in Washington, and not only not to lead the fight against amnesty, as he promised the men and women of Florida, but to lead the fight to author the Rubio-Schumer amnesty bill, and I made the decision to honor the commitment I made to the men and women who elected me, and that is a fundamental divide.”

Earlier in the interview, Cruz was asked how he think Rubio would have voted on the omnibus bill had he voted. He answered, “Well, I do not know. I am not my brother’s keeper. He was not in the Senate, and so I imagine he was somewhere raising funds or doing something else other than standing up against the Washington cartel here in the Senate.”

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett

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