Ted Cruz: Let’s face it, Obama wants the Senate’s immigration push to fail

posted at 5:21 pm on March 25, 2013 by Allahpundit

I disagree, and since I’m counting on Cruz to lead the opposition to a weak bill in the Senate, I’m a little nervous to hear him touting this argument.

Does this mean grassroots conservatives should want the bill to pass in order to foil Obama’s alleged scheme?

Q. Immigration and path to citizenship – where are you on that and did Sen. Paul’s speech the other day change your views on that?

A. There is wide bipartisan agreement on many aspects of immigration reform. There is bipartisan agreement that we need to finally get serious about securing the borders, that it doesn’t make sense in a post 9/11 world that we don’t know the criminal history and the background of those coming into this country, and that we need to increase the manpower and resources on the border to finally solve the problem. I also think there is widespread agreement that we need to improve and streamline legal immigration. I am an enthusiastic champion of legal immigration. Indeed I’m the son of an immigrant. And right now those who come into this country legally face years of lines and mounds of bureaucratic paperwork and red tape. There is bipartisan agreement that we should streamline that process, make it less burdensome. And in particular work to make it easier for high skilled immigrants to come to this country. Every year we educate thousands of graduate students and PhDs in math and computer science and engineering, and then our broken immigration system sends them back to their home countries to start businesses there. To create jobs there, because we don’t allow them to remain here and create jobs in America.

If you had an immigration reform bill that addressed those two areas – that increased the resources, increased the tools for securing the border, and that improved and streamlined legal immigration and increased the number of high-skilled immigrants who can come in – a bill along those lines, if it came to a vote, would receive overwhelming bipartisan support. That’s why I’m optimistic.

The reason I’m pessimistic is I do [sic?] believe President Obama wants to pass an immigration bill. His behavior concerning immigration leads me to believe that what he wants is a political issue rather than actually to pass a bill. What he wants is for the bill to crater, so that he can use the issue as a political wedge in 2014 and 2016. That is why I believe the president is insisting on a path to citizenship for those who are here illegally. Because by insisting on that, he ensures that any immigration reform bill will be voted down in the House.

Q. Would you vote against anything that has path to citizenship?

A. I have deep, deep concerns about a path to citizenship for those who are here illegally. I think creating a path to citizenship is No. 1 inconsistent with the rule of law. But No. 2 it is profoundly unfair to the millions of legal immigrants who have waited years and sometimes decades in line to come here legally. And as a practical matter, if you want to see common sense immigration reform pass, insisting on a path to citizenship is the surest way to kill the bill. Today I think the greatest obstacle to passing common sense immigration reform is President Barack Obama.

I’m … not sure why he thinks a bill with a path to citizenship has no chance in the House, and I refer you to this post if you’re inclined to agree with him. It may be true that the House would oppose a bill with a special path to citizenship for illegals in it, but so what? If the House passes something that grants them probationary legal status and then sends them to the proverbial “back of the line” to wait their turn for green-card eligibility through the normal channels under current law, then guess what? They’re still on a path to citizenship. It’s just a path that might — might — be a bit more circuitous than what, say, Chuck Schumer has in mind. And even if it is, count on Democrats to start agitating for an expedited path once the Senate bill has been safely passed and signed into law. In fact, Cruz himself doesn’t categorically rule out voting for a bill with a path in it. Saying he has “deep concerns” is as far as he goes here.

Beyond that, though, read this old post to see why it’s unlikely Obama wants the immigration bill to fail. If you don’t like that one, read Mickey Kaus making related points. O would be a colossal sucker to pass on an opportunity this golden to set millions of illegals on the road to becoming Democratic voters (with cover from congressional Republicans, no less) for some dubious midterm demagoguery. For one thing, he has other issues he can use to attack the right: Universal background checks and assault weapons, the minimum wage, maybe gay marriage if he’s worried about young voters not turning out. Also, with Rubio having been so prominent in support of comprehensive reform, it’ll be harder for Obama to accuse the GOP of being anti-Latino and/or anti-legalization if the bill tanks. But most of all, why would he try to tank immigration reform for political gain, as a club against his opponents, when he could pass the bill and still use the issue as a club against his opponents? See, e.g., Conn Carroll’s post on the Democrats voting no this past weekend on an amendment that would have blocked illegals from receiving federal health-care benefits. If the final bill passes without that provision in it, Schumer et al. will turn around and call Republicans monsters for denying poor “undocumented citizens” the same health coverage that other Americans receive. And the GOP will inevitably cave for fear of destroying whatever small amount of goodwill they earned with Latinos by passing comprehensive reform in the first place.

In other words, Obama can have his cake and eat it too here, and if he’s too politically tin-eared to grasp that I’m sure Schumer will clue him in. Given how notoriously fragile coalitions in favor of comprehensive reform are in Congress, the two of them have little choice but to try hard to get this done right now. Ask yourself this: If Obama’s out to sabotage the bill, why hasn’t he been more aggressive in pushing his own immigration plan? He gave a speech about it a few weeks ago but otherwise he’s been content to sit back and let the Senate try to make a deal. He could have killed the whole thing weeks ago just by demanding some especially egregious amnesty provisions. He didn’t. How come?

For the record, the White House is officially denying Cruz’s accusation. Here’s O at today’s naturalization ceremony for new citizens at the White House, announcing that he wants Congress to being debate on a comprehensive bill by next month.


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Ted Cruz has come strongly against the border jumpers. I’m not worried.

annoyinglittletwerp on March 25, 2013 at 5:25 PM

Barking with wild accusations and no evidence. Good old CruzCarthy.

lester on March 25, 2013 at 5:29 PM

I know only this — Obama won’t sign any bill that doesn’t screw America and screw Republicans. So maybe we won’t have any answers to these riddles about who wants what to succeed or fail until a bill is on his desk.

rrpjr on March 25, 2013 at 5:30 PM

If it fails my money is on it failing because of ObamaCare and the unions. Obama doesn’t want that to be why it fails, he would rather have an issue like path to citizenship be the reason it fails because that can’t be blamed on him/Dems.

txmomof6 on March 25, 2013 at 5:30 PM

The Executive Order President.

God help us survive his Presidency.

PappyD61 on March 25, 2013 at 5:34 PM

Hopey/Changey has stated he wants this over and done with
a Bill to sign ASAP,and Expedited!!

Hmmmmm,why all da hurry!!

canopfor on March 25, 2013 at 5:35 PM

Cruz should focus his attacks on Obama’s failure to produce a budget and Americans’ continued high unemployment — and pointedly ask Obama to stay out of the immigration debate so that he doesn’t poison an already fragile consensus that may be emerging.

Obama has been known to do this in the past, and on the issue of immigration, specifically.

This is a better line of attack for Cruz or any other GOP member.

matthew8787 on March 25, 2013 at 5:36 PM

He will only have an immigration bill if it has absolutely nothing to do with Republicans. They must get ZERO credit for anything that passes.

This is also why he walked away from the grand budget compromise by doubling down on his demand for higher taxes, because he didn’t want an agreement.

The REB is an Alinskyite, all he wants to do is rub raw those sores of discontent.

slickwillie2001 on March 25, 2013 at 5:40 PM

The Executive Order President.

God help us survive his Presidency.

PappyD61 on March 25, 2013 at 5:34 PM

Your messiah happens to lead in that regard, by a wide margin:

Ronald Reagan 381 (12287 – 12667)
George Bush 166 (12668 – 12833)
William J. Clinton 364 (12834 – 13197)
George W. Bush 291 (13198 – 13488)
Barack Obama 147 (13489 – 13632…)

Damn that reality and its liberal bias!

lester on March 25, 2013 at 5:40 PM

We don’t need the added population; however we need the workers as long as the Obama administration continues to expand the welfare, food stamp and unemployment benefit rolls. Can we depart the “takers” to Mexico and keep those who want to work?

Tater Salad on March 25, 2013 at 5:42 PM

We’re never going to deport people. We’re never going to “seal” our borders. At this point it’s just about who gets to vote. Why the republicans are pushing so hard to bring in a huge dem voting bloc I’m not sure. It is odd.

happytobehere on March 25, 2013 at 5:43 PM

lester on March 25, 2013 at 5:29 PM

Heh, they will let us know who they fear.

cozmo on March 25, 2013 at 5:46 PM

The Executive Order President.

God help us survive his Presidency.

PappyD61 on March 25, 2013 at 5:34 PM

Your messiah happens to lead in that regard, by a wide margin:

Ronald Reagan 381 (12287 – 12667)
George Bush 166 (12668 – 12833)
William J. Clinton 364 (12834 – 13197)
George W. Bush 291 (13198 – 13488)
Barack Obama 147 (13489 – 13632…)

Damn that reality and its liberal bias!

lester on March 25, 2013 at 5:40 PM

How could I have forgotten? Reagan issued an executive order that blew up 20% of the economy and saved us all trillions of dollars?

Oh, that’s right, obamacare passed at midnight with 100% party support on one side and o% on the other. Sounds just like reagan.

Go back to your government job screwing taxpayers out of our money.

acyl72 on March 25, 2013 at 5:47 PM

We’re never going to deport people. We’re never going to “seal” our borders. At this point it’s just about who gets to vote. Why the republicans are pushing so hard to bring in a huge dem voting bloc I’m not sure. It is odd.

happytobehere on March 25, 2013 at 5:43 PM

Don’t assume that to be the case, especially if conservatives do a good job selling their vision and comparing it to the failure of liberalism. Hispanic immigrants typically are very socially conservative, come here for a better life (not government handouts), and come from countries that have screwed up government policies.

Tater Salad on March 25, 2013 at 5:47 PM

We’re never going to deport people. We’re never going to “seal” our borders. At this point it’s just about who gets to vote. Why the republicans are pushing so hard to bring in a huge dem voting bloc I’m not sure. It is odd.

happytobehere on March 25, 2013 at 5:43 PM

Battered Wife Syndrome. They just want to be liked, and be invited to cocktail parties. If it means never winning another election, so be it.

squint on March 25, 2013 at 5:51 PM

If the Unions lose control over the Democratic Party, then you might see some type of honest immigration bill passed. Until then, I would have to agree with Cruz.

DDay on March 25, 2013 at 5:52 PM

Hispanic immigrants typically are very socially conservative, come here for a better life (not government handouts), and come from countries that have screwed up government policies.

Tater Salad on March 25, 2013 at 5:47 PM

Correct me if I’m wrong but wasn’t there a very recent “study” or poll that indicated that voting Latinos in America overwhelmingly want Big Government (in other words, a federal government similar to their countries of origin/ancestry)?

visions on March 25, 2013 at 5:52 PM

…come here for a better life (not government handouts)…
Tater Salad on March 25, 2013 at 5:47 PM

Not the ones I deal with on a daily basis.

And an entire industry devoted to collecting money and giving it away.

cozmo on March 25, 2013 at 5:56 PM

somebody wake me when they talk about addressing birthright citizenship

DanMan on March 25, 2013 at 5:58 PM

Correct me if I’m wrong but wasn’t there a very recent “study” or poll that indicated that voting Latinos in America overwhelmingly want Big Government (in other words, a federal government similar to their countries of origin/ancestry)?

visions on March 25, 2013 at 5:52 PM

There was, and they do. Like all liberals, there’s apparently little to no carry-over of learning.

squint on March 25, 2013 at 5:59 PM

kabuki?

ted c on March 25, 2013 at 6:00 PM

kabuki?

ted c on March 25, 2013 at 6:00 PM

Yes..:)

Dire Straits on March 25, 2013 at 6:03 PM

Don’t assume that to be the case, especially if conservatives do a good job selling their vision and comparing it to the failure of liberalism. Hispanic immigrants typically are very socially conservative, come here for a better life (not government handouts), and come from countries that have screwed up government policies.

Tater Salad on March 25, 2013 at 5:47 PM

Uh huh, and African Americans will be so mad about gay marriage that they’ll turn away from Obama in 2012. Hispanics vote for the Dems. They will vote for the Dems with or without amnesty. Even Asians (a “socially conservative” bunch, right?) vote for the Dems 4-1.

And what if you can live a better life and be on government handouts? I’m not saying that immigrants want handouts, I just don’t understand why you think “a better life” precludes “government handouts”.

happytobehere on March 25, 2013 at 6:04 PM

We can count on Senator Graham. He’s a real conservative you know. Here is the proof.

Wigglesworth on March 25, 2013 at 6:05 PM

Unless Cruz is just trying to mess with Obama’s mind, I don’t think he knows what the hell he is talking about.

VorDaj on March 25, 2013 at 6:09 PM

VorDaj on March 25, 2013 at 6:09 PM

Cruz is solidly ANTI-illegal. Don’t worry.

annoyinglittletwerp on March 25, 2013 at 6:13 PM

I disagree, and since I’m counting on Cruz to lead the opposition to a weak bill in the Senate, I’m a little nervous to hear him touting this argument.

Oh, who cares. I mean this is nitpicking for the sale of being provocative. He’s for reforming the absurdities in the legal process, strengthening border security and against a path for illegals. Yeesh, that’s pretty good considering everyone else who’s been folding recently.

Dongemaharu on March 25, 2013 at 6:15 PM

Why would we support something based on how Obama feels? Either they do what is right or they don’t. I think making a bunch of new laws to add to the ones they already ignore is a swell idea. Busy work for Congress is what has given them their well deserved reputation of being useless.

Cindy Munford on March 25, 2013 at 6:15 PM

I guess conservatives and Obama are finally agreeing then.

Cruz is sharp man!

Can.I.be.in.the.middle on March 25, 2013 at 6:17 PM

Tater Salad on March 25, 2013 at 5:47 PM

Wake me up when any of these high ideals trumps free stuff.

Cindy Munford on March 25, 2013 at 6:17 PM

Wait … Or is Cruz saying this so he vote for the bill… Just stick his finger in O’s eye!!

Either way, the guy is a genius!

Can.I.be.in.the.middle on March 25, 2013 at 6:18 PM

Loving the “win a us greencard” advertising on the page. Oh the irony

Can.I.be.in.the.middle on March 25, 2013 at 6:26 PM

Wake me up when any of these high ideals trumps free stuff.

Cindy Munford on March 25, 2013 at 6:17 PM

It’s not just about free stuff, although that may play a part. It’s all the side stuff that really brings in the dem voter. The GOP isn’t driven by an ideal of “fairness” or a “get even” mentality that brings in a lot of voters. The GOP also doesn’t play race effectively. The GOP thinks racism is bad, but they think racism is bad when it’s directed at “whites” too. And that’s just the beginning of where they completely misunderstand “race”.

The GOP is totally screwed on so many issues that they don’t even know exist yet. It’s going to get a lot worse.

happytobehere on March 25, 2013 at 6:30 PM

The GOP is totally screwed on so many issues that they don’t even know exist yet. It’s going to get a lot worse.

happytobehere on March 25, 2013 at 6:30 PM

Good point..This issue is definitely a thorn..:)

Dire Straits on March 25, 2013 at 6:34 PM

Hispanic immigrants typically are very socially conservative
Tater Salad on March 25, 2013 at 5:47 PM

How many times does this BS myth need to be debunked? Exit polls showed that 66 percent of Hispanics believe abortion should be legal, a higher percentage than the population overall. A majority of Hispanics support SSM too.

Jon0815 on March 25, 2013 at 6:37 PM

happytobehere on March 25, 2013 at 6:30 PM

I’m sure sick of watching them try to out Democrat Democrats. The stupid people are now the majority, the rest of us are just here to foot the bill for as long as we can.

Cindy Munford on March 25, 2013 at 6:39 PM

” O would be a colossal sucker to pass on an opportunity this golden to set millions of illegals on the road to becoming Democratic voters (with cover from congressional Republicans, no less) for some dubious midterm demagoguery…”

Sounds like a good time for a fillibuster…

Seven Percent Solution on March 25, 2013 at 6:42 PM

Cindy Munford on March 25, 2013 at 6:39 PM

Good evening..Nice to see you posting..:)

Dire Straits on March 25, 2013 at 6:43 PM

I’m sure sick of watching them try to out Democrat Democrats. The stupid people are now the majority, the rest of us are just here to foot the bill for as long as we can.

Cindy Munford on March 25, 2013 at 6:39 PM

Nobody is footing this bill. At least no one who is alive yet. I still think the stupid people have always been the majority and they’re simply voting now more than before. But yeah, the GOP might as well stand for something as they become a permanent minority party.

happytobehere on March 25, 2013 at 6:52 PM

The reason I’m pessimistic is I do [sic?] believe President Obama wants to pass an immigration bill. His behavior concerning immigration leads me to believe that what he wants is a political issue rather than actually to pass a bill. What he wants is for the bill to crater, so that he can use the issue as a political wedge in 2014 and 2016. That is why I believe the president is insisting on a path to citizenship for those who are here illegally. Because by insisting on that, he ensures that any immigration reform bill will be voted down in the House. Ted Cruz

I am not an immigration hawk but I think it is a fair assessment that Obama wants to see this thing tank and use it as a political issue. That has been something I thought when the new immigration push began. I also thought it was important for Republicans to get out in front of the issue, even if nothing passes at all, in order to at least muddy the waters and force Obama to react instead of lead the debate.

This is why I have never approved of Boehner’s approach of wanting Obama to lead. The last thing any conservative should want is Obama leading anything.

William Eaton on March 25, 2013 at 6:56 PM

Hispanic immigrants typically are very socially conservative, come here for a better life (not government handouts), and come from countries that have screwed up government policies.

Tater Salad on March 25, 2013 at 5:47 PM

Socially conservative? Is that why 53% of all U.S. Hispanic births are to unmarried mothers? Or why illegal aliens are much more likely to be on welfare than native born people? Illegal aliens typically poorly educated non-productive people the Mexican government wants to dump.

bw222 on March 25, 2013 at 6:59 PM

If the Unions lose control over the Democratic Party, then you might see some type of honest immigration bill passed. Until then, I would have to agree with Cruz.

DDay on March 25, 2013 at 5:52 PM

The unions will have a hell of a time to get all the new “workers” under the union label.
That is what the big push is for. The unions (democrats) want to control their new friends.
Good luck with that.

redguy on March 25, 2013 at 6:59 PM

Also I personally think this whole debate has missed the mark. Instead of focusing on the illegal immigrants themselves who are simply a symptom of a problem, conservatives should have instead focused on pushing for harsh new laws, including jail time, against those who knowingly hire illegal immigrants.

It is more politically doable to arrest rich business owners who hire illegals than it is to chase around illegals themselves, splitting families, etc. all of which is used as propaganda against conservatives.

William Eaton on March 25, 2013 at 7:04 PM

Tap-dancing traitors and Waltzing traitors.

What a choice.

profitsbeard on March 25, 2013 at 7:19 PM

William Eaton on March 25, 2013 at 7:04 PM

I don’t often agree with you but you are on-target here. Making an example of people who knowingly hire illegals with jail time would reduce the practice.

bw222 on March 25, 2013 at 7:23 PM

profitsbeard on March 25, 2013 at 7:19 PM

Cruz is AGAINST a ‘path to citizenship’. ‘K.

annoyinglittletwerp on March 25, 2013 at 7:29 PM

What the conventional wisdom regurgitators are missing is that the unions, whom Obama served and has done some of his dirtiest work for, do not want reform either. No guest worker programs, no wait on amnesties, no deal unless they get millions of potential D-voters/unionistas, up front.

Obama himself help killed the Bush/McCain shamnesty play on behalf of the unions. His people believe, correctly, he can stoop for the unions again and still get “Latinos” to believe he’s the good guy and vote for him, just like in 2008.

BTW, I’ll take Cruz’s word over the likes of talking heads like Mickey Kaus.

smiley on March 25, 2013 at 7:34 PM

NO AMNESTY. In any form.

TX-96 on March 25, 2013 at 7:37 PM

Pass whatever waiting period requirements you like. The ACLU and SPLC and La Raza and others will file thousands of lawsuits and an accommodating media will pressure the courts until we have amnesty in very short order.

MikeinPRCA on March 25, 2013 at 7:54 PM

Dude. He’s just laying the groundwork to blame Obama when (I hope) it fails. Chillax.

besser tot als rot on March 25, 2013 at 8:12 PM

Don’t assume that to be the case, especially if conservatives do a good job selling their vision and comparing it to the failure of liberalism. Hispanic immigrants typically are very socially conservative, come here for a better life (not government handouts), and come from countries that have screwed up government policies.

Tater Salad

You haven’t checked out the state of California lately, have you? Or pretty much any Latino country on the planet for that matter.

xblade on March 25, 2013 at 8:16 PM

Is it possible that Cruz is playing the game the way the Dems do? Assigning unfavorable and antagonistic motives to Republicans has been a favorite strategery for Democrats for quite some time now.
Could he be attempting to sow some seeds of doubt among Hispanics ? while at the same time giving Obama a nice big spoonful of his own medicine before he can start wailing about “los terrible republicanos”?!!

lynncgb on March 25, 2013 at 8:43 PM