Reid Accuses Cruz of Using Illegal Immigrant Children as Chips in 'High Stakes Poker'

Reid Accuses Cruz of Using Illegal Immigrant Children as Chips in 'High Stakes Poker'

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is trying stamp out an effort by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) to fight President Barack Obama’s executive amnesty for illegal aliens, taking to the Senate floor Thursday morning to swipe at the conservative firebrand the morning after he launched the battle.

Reid compared the fight Cruz, Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), and other Republican lawmakers are waging against President Barack Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) executive amnesty for so-called DREAMers and other executive non-enforcement directives Obama has issued to the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas, Nevada.

“Over the past two weeks, poker players from Las Vegas have — poker players have flocked to Las Vegas because there’s an annual World Series of Poker,” Reid said on the Senate floor Thursday. “It’s on ESPN. I don’t know how athletic it is but it is on ESPN and it draws a lot of attention. Poker is very important and a popular game now, a game of chance. And this tournament, the World Series of Poker, is the most prestigious high-stakes tournament in the world. 2,400, 2,500 miles away from Las Vegas here in Washington, D.C., Senate Republicans are playing a high stakes game of their own with a humanitarian crisis. Instead of poker chips, they’re using kids, children.”

Reid specifically attacked Cruz for fighting to repeal Obama’s executive amnesty actions, and demanding as a “prerequisite” for any new border crisis bill that there be a guarantee Obama will never do it again. 

“Last night, the junior Senator from Texas upped the ante and announced that any legislation to address the humanitarian crisis in the Rio Grande Valley must also include the termination of President Obama’s 2012 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program,” Reid said, referencing Cruz’s newly staked out battlefield. “In other words, Mr. President, before Republicans help our Border Patrol agents and all the personnel trying to do something to handle this humanitarian crisis, they want President Obama to deport the DREAMers who are already here, legitimately here. These are children. But instead of considering a thoughtful, compassionate solution to a real-life crisis on our border, radical Republicans are trying to hold these kids ransom.”

Reid launched into a defense of the illegal alien children who have entered the United States illegally before attacking Cruz again.

Mr. President, these people, I’ve heard Senator Durbin speak here on the floor. He visited one of these centers in Chicago on Monday and there are mothers who have babies there, who have been brought as the law requires to Chicago, to try to unite them with their families. As we learned last night in a senators briefing, more than 50,000 of these children arrived at the border, and we have to do something to address that. The people who are required by law to take care of these children, some of whom are babies, don’t have the resources to do it. These are not children sneaking over the border. They come to people in uniform and say ‘here we are,’ and we have an obligation by law to do something about it. But it takes a lot of money to take care of this. We can’t do it unless we have added resources. And what the junior senator from Texas said, we’re not going to do this unless we deport all these children who came here before, the so-called DREAMers, once again we see there are no substantive solution being offered by the Republican Party.

Reid’s attack on Cruz comes as a working group created by House Speaker John Boehner finalizes its own immigration bill aimed at dealing with the border crisis. Senate Minority Whip John Cornyn and his Texas Democratic colleague Rep. Henry Cuellar introduced a bill aimed at modifying a 2008 anti-trafficking law.

But Cruz, Sessions, and many other conservatives especially anti-amnesty groups argue that the 2008 human trafficking law is a distraction, and the real source of this surge of illegal immigration comes from President Obama’s non-enforcement directives to federal immigration officers.