Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz (shown) launched a national petition on June 20 to oppose the bipartisan Senate Gang of Eight’s immigration bill.
This is urgent. We must stop this Gang of 8 immigration bill, which would give amnesty to an estimated 11 million illegal immigrants with no guarantee of a secure border.
The Senate debate is in the final stages and we need to send Washington a strong signal of the overwhelming grassroots opposition to this amnesty bill from Americans across the country.
In his e-mail, Cruz urged supporters to share the petition with friends and to “act now — without delay — to help us defeat amnesty and stand for legal immigration!”
“The Senate debate is in the final stages and we need to send Washington a strong signal of the overwhelming grassroots opposition to this amnesty bill from Americans across the country,” Cruz explained.
KFYO speculated whether Cruz or Gang of Eight Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) would have more influence in the Senate on the issue of immigration. Both senators are the sons of Cuban immigrants.
On June 19, Cruz’s office issued a press release that contained excerpts from a speech he delivered on the Senate floor in which he strongly critiqued the Gang of Eight immigration reform bill. Among his statements:
• Neither the Gang of Eight bill nor many of the alternative border security proposals that have been introduced do enough to meaningfully secure our borders. The last time this body passed major immigration reform was 1986….
• The insecurity of our borders is causing human tragedies in our country, many of which are occurring in in my home state of Texas….
• In 1986 the federal government made a promise to the American people. The federal government said we will grant amnesty to some three million people here illegally [and] in exchange, we will secure the borders. We will stop illegal immigration, we will fix the problem. The American people accepted that offer. What happened in 1986 was the amnesty happened, three million people received it, and yet the border security never did.
A separate press release sent from Cruz’s office on June 19 noted that the senator had “filed additional amendments to S. 744 [the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act introduced by the Gang of Eight] to significantly improve border security measures, fix our immigration system in a manner that champions legal immigration, and uphold the rule of law by ensuring illegal immigrants granted legal status under this bill are not given a path to citizenship.” (Emphasis added.)
“I very much want commonsense immigration reform to pass, but if this bill becomes law as currently written, it will not solve the problem. Instead it will make the problem of illegal immigration worse,” Sen. Cruz said.
In an article posted by PJ media, blogger Bryan Preston (former communications director of the Republican Party of Texas) expressed appreciation not only for Sen. Cruz’s petition efforts, but also for plans of Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) to support a filibuster unless the proposed immigration bill give Congress more oversight over border security.
Preston quoted Paul’s statement made Thursday on the Andrea Tantaros show: “Unless they change the bill, I will vote on the side of not ending the debate, which is essentially like a filibuster, but it’s not the filibuster people think of.”
“If [the immigration bill] got stronger, I could consider it, but since they rejected my call to have Congress involved with determining whether the border is secure, I can’t imagine how they can get me back unless they come back to me and say, ‘We've changed our mind,’” Paul said. “We would like Congress to be involved in this.”
The Daily Caller reported on Wednesday that the Senate voted 61 to 37 to table Paul’s “Trust but Verify” amendment to the immigration bill that would have required a vote from Congress affirming that border security measures were working before illegal (aka “undocumented”) immigrants could be granted legal status.
Seven Republicans voted with Democrats to table the amendment: Susan Collins (Maine), Bob Corker (Tenn.), Lisa Murkowski (Alaska), and the four Gang of Eight Republicans: Marco Rubio (Fla.), John McCain (Ariz.), Jeff Flake (Ariz.), and Lindsey Graham (S.C.).