The Corner

Cruz: Path to Citizenship ‘Profoundly Unfair’

Ted Cruz today said he believes a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants would be ”profoundly unfair to the millions of legal immigrants who followed the rules.”

ABC’s Jonathan Karl had argued that “poll after poll” had indicated public support for such a measure, and asked Cruz, “Are the majority of Americans wrong about this?” (It’s notable that, pace the polling Karl cites, tighter border security receives much higher support than a path to citizenship, and more Americans support a border-security-first approach than do a legalization-first one.)

The senator called the path-to-citizenship measure ”the most divisive element of the Gang of Eight bill.”

In explaining his opposition to the Senate’s legislation, Cruz explained, “If the Gang of Eight bill became the law, in ten, twenty years, we wouldn’t have 11 million people here illegally — we’d have 20 or 30 million.” (The Congressional Budget Office concurs that it wouldn’t come close to ending legal immigration, but it projects that there will be be 7 or 8 million illegal immigrants ten years after the bill’s passage, though such an estimate is surely highly speculative.)

That doesn’t mean, however, that Cruz opposes action on immigration, saying that “there is no stronger advocate of legal immigration in the U.S. Senate than I am,” and arguing that “if you want to fix the [immigration] problem, you’ve got to focus where there is agreement.” (Meanwhile, polls show that more Americans consistently support decreasing the level of legal immigration than support increasing it.)

George Stephanopoulos asked Cruz whether he thought that “immigration reform that includes a path to citizenship” is “dead,” and Senator Cruz said, ”I do not believe the House of Representatives will pass a path to citizenship, and I think the White House knows that.”

Patrick Brennan was a senior communications official at the Department of Health and Human Services during the Trump administration and is former opinion editor of National Review Online.


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