Ted Cruz (R., Texas) joined three Republican Senators on Monday in strongly denouncing the Gang of Eight immigration reform bill. In a letter to colleagues, Cruz, along with Senators Mike Lee (R., Utah), Chuck Grassley (R., Iowa), and Jeff Sessions (R., Ala.), wrote that the proposed legislation would “leave our borders unsecure and our immigration system deeply dysfunctional.”
The letter contains a detailed explaination of amendments offered during the bill’s markup in the Judiciary Committee that the senators argue would have significantly improved the legislation, but were rejected, as well as a number of amendments that were adopted, but simpy “exacerbated” the “already serious flaws” with the existing bill.
The letter criticizes the Gang of Eight directly, and the “deal” struck by its members to ensure that “the core provisions of the bill remain the same,” arguing that the legislation, like Obamacare, was “negotiated behind closed doors with special interests.”
The senators list the following reasons for their decision to oppose the bill:
- It provides immediate legalization without securing the border.
- It rewards criminal aliens, absconders, and deportees, and undermines law enforcement.
- It contains extremely dangerous national-security loopholes.
- It facilitates fraud in our immigraiton system.
- It creates no real penalties for illegal immigrants and rewards them with entitlements.
- It delays for years the implementation of E-Verify.
- It does not fix our legal-immigration system.
- It advanced through a process predicated on a deal struck before markup.
- It rewards those who have broken our laws by offering a special path to citizenship.
The senators stress that they do not oppose the concept of immigration reform; they just cannot support the Gang’s proposal. ”We need immigration reform, but the American people deserve better than a 1,000-page bill that makes our immigration system more complex and less accountable without truly ensuring border security,” they write. “[The proposed bill] fails to deliver anything more than the same empty promises Washington has been making for 30 years.”
Full text of the letter here.