Re-Posted from VOXXI.com
When Ted Cruz submitted his five amendments for the Senate version of the immigration bill, many were shocked when they discovered one of them had essentially wiped out any chance for those currently living here illegally to ever become a U.S. Citizen.
According to his amendment, “…no person who has previously been willfully present in the United States while not in lawful status shall be eligible for United States citizenship.”
For all those in the Republican Party who know the coming trends within the Hispanic community, this amendment works against us by saying, “Republicans don’t care about immigrants or their dream to become an American.”
It illustrates the difference between a compassionate approach (Sen. Marco Rubio’s) and one with no tolerance of illegal immigrants. For many of us republican activists fighting to overcome the negative perceptions instilled by decades of Democratic propaganda, this news comes like a kick in the teeth. In 2012, Texas Republicans adopted new language in their Party Platform to include the Texas Solution, a platform issue dedicated to dealing with the immigration problem, calling for a secure border and a documentation plan based on free-market solutions. One would think the Senator from Texas would be more in tune with the wishes of the members of his Party.
During his primary campaign Ted Cruz stopped in Waco to attend a Tea Party forum, showcasing the Senate candidates. After the event, I interviewed Cruz, who along with others during the forum had avoided dealing with the toxic issue of immigration.
As we began our interview, I asked if he had a plan to deal with the 11-20 million illegal residents now living in America. “I think we can’t even begin to discuss what we need to do with those living here illegally until we can secure the border,” responded Cruz.
I replied, “Assuming the border has been secured, what would you do with those living here illegally?” Cruz, becoming agitated, responded, “As I said, nothing matters until we secure the border,” as he continued to evade my specific question.
“I realize we need to secure the border, you’ve mentioned that already, but once we do secure it, and I’m sure we can, what then do we do with those still living in America illegally?” I asked for the third time.
“Duke, you seem to be fixated on this one issue…there are more issues that need to be discussed,” said Cruz. “I agree, there are many we can discuss, but no one seems to be asking this specific question, and based on how you’re responding, I’m beginning to feel that you’re not going to give me an answer,” I replied.
I began to turn my camera off, “Are we done?” asked Cruz. “Well, I think so. You aren’t going to answer my questions, so I have nothing else to say,” I replied. It was clear he didn’t want the interview to end that way, so he began to talk about his family history, emphasizing how much he believed in a legal immigration system.
When the interview was over, I walked away convinced he either had no plan at all to deal with illegal immigrants living in America, or he had a plan, but was not willing to share it with me.
Now we know what his plan was; to deny any illegal resident the ability to ever rectify their situation and become a U.S. Citizen. Why did he withhold that small piece of information? It’s because his number one opponent, Lt. Governor David Dewhurst, had already been discussing a plan to document those living here illegally, letting them work their way into citizenship down the road. Dewhurst was talking to grassroots groups about a plan very similar to what Senator Marco Rubio has proposed.
It would have been political suicide for Ted Cruz to tell me his ultimate plan, which would have galvanized many who feel deportation is not an option and may have made the difference in the election.
It took a while to finally get an answer to what Cruz might do with the illegals in America; he revealed his intentions yesterday in an amendment to the Senate Immigration Bill.
Those of us working to grow the Republican Party through Hispanic inclusion have been dealt a major blow, by one of our own. I imagine the Democrats in Texas, especially those in the Battleground Texas project, feel as though they’ve been given a gift from God, courtesy of Ted Cruz.
With his recent action, Ted Cruz has virtually guaranteed he will receive a challenger from the Democrat Party. Potential candidates like Julian Castro, San Antonio Mayor, only need a slight advantage and using Cruz’ record against him, Democrats will beat the anti-immigrant drum to draw the largest Hispanic voter turnout in history.
Why does Ted Cruz oppose citizenship for those living here illegally, yet support the Cuban Adjustment Act, which grants citizenship to Cubans for the same residency issues? It makes no sense, and his actions are poisoning the waters among Hispanics in Texas which are 80 percent Mexican.
Our Texas Senator should understand the dynamics of his state better. I am saddened to know he thinks so little of the immigrants who came here for a better life, whether they came legally or just crossed the Rio Grande for survival.
Based on what I’ve heard from grassroots leaders and Hispanic activists on the ground in Texas, Cruz was likely put in a position to satisfy his donors, many of which far-right circles, who have been chanting “NO AMNESTY” and who without their donations, his election would not have been possible.
Surely Cruz feels he’s done no wrong, and is justified in his actions, but time will tell. In my opinion, he has upset many Republicans and there will be repercussions.