Cruz Highlights Unfairness of Obama’s Amnesty Towards Legal Immigrants

AP Photo/Susan Walsh
AP Photo/Susan Walsh

In Monday’s Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) questioned U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) officials about whether the agency was taking funds from fees paid by legal immigrants and diverting them to pay for President Barack Obama’s executive amnesty program. Cruz also asked about how USCIS officials were complying with the recent temporary injunction issued by a federal district court judge in Texas, which was supposed to block the Obama administration from implementing the program.

The USCIS representative was unable to answer Cruz’s question about whether there was any law that prevented them from using fees paid by legal immigrants to fund Obama’s efforts to expand the DACA and DAPA programs, granting amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants, saying, “I’m not qualified to make that kind of determination.”

Cruz responded that his first concern with Obama’s executive amnesty was a legal one, that “it is contrary to federal law and unconstitutional, and as I noted earlier a federal district court has agreed that it is contrary to law and has accordingly enjoined it.”

Cruz’s second concern focused on fairness, specifically “that executive amnesty benefits and in fact gives preferences to those who are here illegally, and it does so to the detriment of legal immigrants, of those who have followed the law and come here legally.”

As Cruz pointed out, a legal immigrant entrepreneur who wants to come to the United States and start a business, must pay a fee of $1,500, and a legal immigrant investor wants to use capital to create American jobs, has to pay $6,230 under the immigrant investor pilot program. In contrast, under Obama’s amnesty plan as laid out in his executive order, those who entered our country illegally and are applying under DAPA and DACA are not charged any additional fees whatsoever.

Said Cruz, “I cannot think of any other fee program, any rational fee program, that allows those who break the law to be exempt from paying the fee, but if someone is foolish enough to actually try to comply with our immigration laws, to wait at home, to wait in line for years – sometimes decades – we smack them with a fee of $1,500 or $6,200, but those who are here illegally pay nothing. That strikes me as a program that is indefensible to the American people.”

Video from Cruz’s question sessions from Monday’s Senate Judiciary Committee hearing:

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