Does Ted Cruz support amnesty? Part 1 (Texas, Senate, David Dewhurst)
Ted Cruz is running against David Dewhurst for U.S. Senate in Texas, and one recent poll shows Cruz ahead by 9 points (link).
Cruz is a Tea Parties candidate, and if asked he'll say he opposes "amnesty". In fact, he says he's opposed to "amnesty" so much, I'm a little suspicious he doth protest too much.
I've written literally thousands of posts about immigration since 2002, and I've seen how politicians try to fool voters. In fact, I have answers to many of the most popular talking points massive/illegal immigration supporters use.
One of those talking points is to say they oppose amnesty, at the same time as they support amnesty. For instance, here's John McCain - a supporter of what we would call amnesty - saying he doesn't support amnesty. Like the word "is", it all depends on how you define things; see the penultimate link.
A politician saying they oppose "amnesty" is virtually meaningless: the question is whether they support comprehensive immigration reform, "earned legalization", "earned regularization", other legalization programs, or some sort of massive guest workers plan. For instance, another self-styled-amnesty-opponent who has his own what-we-would-call-amnesty plan is another Teaparty favorite, Marco Rubio.
Is Ted Cruz another Marco Rubio? Or, is he more like Tom Tancredo? I haven't seen any evidence that he's a True Believer (or at least as concerned about cultural matters) like the latter, but then again I'm not sure he's the former either. But, considering one of Cruz' major backers is Freedomworks - headed by illegal immigration fan Dick Armey - and considering that George P Bush recently spoke up for him, I wouldn't be surprised if Cruz turns out to be quite Rubio-like.
The way to resolve this is to have Cruz categorically state he opposes any sort of legalization program for current illegal aliens, including anything involving a "touchback" feature. If he can't do that, then he should spell out exactly under what conditions he'd support legalization, and who and how many would be admitted.
I've repeatedly asked @TedCruz to clarify that, with no replies. The reader is encouraged to ask him and then leave a comment if he replies.
Here's a video interview from almost a year ago with a transcript of the immigration portion. Everything about his statements could be taken multiple ways. The only favorable statement is the part about a "path to citizenship", but even that doesn't foreclose him supporting some sort of guest workers program.
I am strongly opposed to illegal immigration. I am categorically opposed to amnesty.
And I strongly support legal immigrants who follow the rules and come here seeking to work towards the American dream.
Now with respect to securing the borders, I approach this from the perspective of someone who's spent much of his adult life in law enforcement. It makes utterly no sense that we don't know who's coming into this country.
We don't know their criminal backgrounds, our borders are largely unsecured. And, particularly in a post 9/11 world that is lunacy.
I support any and all possible efforts to secure the borders. That includes fences, that includes walls, that includes technology, that includes helicopters, that includes drones, that includes manpower, that includes employment verification, that includes approaching it as a law enforcement priority. And, right now, neither party is serious about doing that.
With respect to a path to citizenship or amnesty, I categorically oppose it. And, the reason is, I've spent a lifetime working to defend the Constitution and uphold the rule of law. And, it is fundamentally unfair that contrary to the rule of law to reward those who break the law. And, you know, one of the people it's most unfair to are those that are following the law. There are immigrants that wait years and even decades to come here legally. And, yet, what amnesty programs say is that we're going to take those that have chosen to break the law and we're going to reward them rather than insist that people follow the law. I don't think that's fair, I don't think that's right, and I don't support it.
P.S. Since Ted Cruz has adoring Tea Parties fans, this post doesn't mean that I support Dewhurst or think he's better; Dewhurst is a known "wolf". The question is whether Cruz is also a "wolf", but in sheep's clothing.