The Corner

So Is Cruz for Immigration Increases or against Them?

Ted Cruz’s new immigration platform specifically opposes higher immigration levels:

Halt any increases in legal immigration so long as American unemployment remains unacceptably high. The purpose of legal immigration should be to grow the economy, not to displace American workers. Under no circumstances should legal immigration levels be adjusted upwards so long as work-force participation rates remain below historical averages.

But his campaign chairman, Chad Sweet, may have sent a different message to Hispanic Republicans he met with privately yesterday. As reported by NBC, the main focus of the meeting was discontent with Cruz’s insistence on enforcing the law. But then there was this bit:

The group did applaud Cruz’s support for increasing legal immigration. Sweet repeatedly told the group Cruz wants to be the champion of legal immigration, Aguilar said.

“He said there’s no better friend than Ted Cruz to legal immigration,” Aguilar said.

Now, this is Alfonso Aguilar’s version of what Sweet said, and Aguilar is an active proponent of amnesty and unlimited immigration. (Univision activist Jorge Ramos once tweeted that “Republicans you have to listen to for the immigration debate: Jeb Bush, Carlos Gutierrez and Alfonso Aguilar.”)

So it could be Sweet just expressed platitudinous support for the idea of legal immigration (as Cruz’s website says, “We must continue to welcome and celebrate legal immigrants”) without calling for increases. But it’s important this be clarified – are Cruz’s surrogates saying the same things in private about immigration levels as the campaign is declaring in public?

Mark Krikorian, a nationally recognized expert on immigration issues, has served as Executive Director of the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) since 1995.

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