Reporter asks Ted Cruz four times: “How do you define amnesty?”

posted at 1:21 pm on December 1, 2015 by Allahpundit

The best part is when she asks the obvious follow-up — is a path to legalization “amnesty”? — and he won’t even make eye contact.

There’s a spectrum of answers to this question on the right, of course:

1. Amnesty is citizenship without preconditions. That’s the strictest definition, and naturally the one preferred by Beltway Republicans like Marco Rubio in his Gang of Eight days. (Marco Rubio circa 2010 had a different view.) As long as you’re forcing illegals to jump through some sort of hoop, be it learning English, paying back taxes, going to the back of the line, etc, that’s not amnesty — even if you’re granting them citizenship. Anything short of immediate voting rights for illegals, no questions asked, is A-OK.

2. Amnesty is citizenship. That’s Jeb Bush’s position, as I understand it. Jeb will legalize ’em, let ’em stay in the U.S. and work, but allowing them to become full citizens with voting rights goes too far in rewarding them for breaking our laws. The most an illegal can aspire to be is a permanent legal resident. Beyond that lies amnesty.

3. Amnesty is legalization unless you’ve improved security first. That’s Ted Cruz’s position (and Marco Rubio’s current position), again as I understand it. This isn’t so much a literal definition of “amnesty,” which is a matter of legal status, as it is a political compromise between the two prongs of comprehensive immigration reform. Legalization (i.e. work permits) is on the table if and only if we see concrete improvements in internal enforcement first. Border hawks got suckered in 1986 by accepting promises of future border security in return for immediate grants of amnesty; despite the Gang of Eight’s best efforts, they won’t get suckered again. If you can make legalization of illegals contingent upon measurable gains in enforcement, then that’s not “amnesty.” Via Breitbart, here’s Cruz in his own words explaining his view to Hugh Hewitt:

Once we secure the border, you stop filling the boat that’s sinking, a number of people start to go home voluntarily every year to be with their families. That population will start shrinking. After that, you deport the criminal illegal aliens. The population continues to shrink. After that, you put in place strong E-verify so those here illegally can’t get jobs. The population continues to shrink. And then once we have finally demonstrated to the American people that we have secured the border, the problem’s solved, it’s not a promise from a politician, it’s not empty words, it’s been done, then and only then, I think we should have a conversation with the American people about what we should do about whatever smaller population remains. But I don’t think we should start there at the front end. We should start with border security, and that’s what I’ll do as president.

Deportations plus attrition through enforcement will lower the total illegal population substantially, and then, as for the ones who doggedly stick it out and remain in the U.S., we’ll, er, “have a conversation” about what to do with them. Here’s the conversation: “We’re gonna have to legalize them, guys.” End of conversation.

4. Amnesty is legalization, period. That’s the Trump position: They broke the law by coming here illegally so we can’t reward them by letting them stay and work. They’re all going home. And then, per Trump’s plan, the “good” ones are going to come right back in legally once they’re been removed. Why that’s any better in practice than Cruz’s position, I don’t know; arguably it’s much worse since it would involve the enormous expense of mass deportations with no intention of barring the deported permanently from the U.S. But it sounds tough so it works politically on the right.

Anyway, you can see why Kasie Hunt is so eager to pin Cruz down on this. Cruz’s game is to convince conservatives and/or Trump fans that he’s taken position 4, the most hardline in principle, when in reality he’s never moved off of position 3. Republicans want the toughest possible response on illegals so Cruz spends 99 percent of his time on the subject talking up better enforcement and slamming Rubio for having once pushed position 1. When you ask him the key question of whether legalization constitutes amnesty, though, he averts his eyes because he knows border hawks want to hear “yes” and he can’t give that answer. The real fun’s going to start when the Trump/Cruz war begins in earnest and Trump accuses Cruz of being a RINO who won’t send the illegals home and Cruz accuses Trump of having a stupid “touchback” deportation that won’t actually achieve anything except to make border hawks feel good. Position 3 versus position 4. Where’s the smart money?


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Comments

SpongePuppy

Schadenfreude on December 1, 2015 at 6:23 PM

Slave Wage Labor is the Cocaine,

U S A is the addict,

non voters the enablers.

Truth is the only solution.

First the addict must be put in isolation from the drug.

Secure the border.

Put the final solution in effect for the human and drug smuggling Mexican cartels of drug mules and slave wage coyotes who scavenge our freedoms.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on December 1, 2015 at 6:24 PM

Cruz!

kcewa on December 1, 2015 at 6:31 PM

Fact:

El Chapo Guzman and the other Mexican drug/human smuggling operations have operational control for their use most of the U S / Mexican border .
They control the areas they need total.

It is just that dangerous now.

I know, I and 12 other Vietnam vets go there often to places where no one other than ourselves and the evil ones go.

They attempt to find and kill U S All, but we are good, we made it out of Laos and Cambodia alive.

We smell just as bad as they do, we are much more ruthless than they will ever be for we fight for freedom and liberty, they lust for gold and live the greed filled lives of evil men.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on December 1, 2015 at 6:33 PM

I don’t agree. But much props for name-dropping my second favorite President.

Lamont Cranston on December 1, 2015 at 6:20 PM

Well it’s worth a shot, isn’t it? Better than a guaranteed loss, at least.

TBSchemer on December 1, 2015 at 6:37 PM

Next you’ll be telling me that the Confederates were right about blacks.

TDSchemer on December 1, 2015 at 3:51 PM

No, but Lincoln was.

“I will say then that I am not, nor ever have been in favor of bringing about in anyway the social and political equality of the white and black races – that I am not nor ever have been in favor of making voters or jurors of negroes, nor of qualifying them to hold office, nor to intermarry with white people; and I will say in addition to this that there is a physical difference between the white and black races which I believe will forever forbid the two races living together on terms of social and political equality. And inasmuch as they cannot so live, while they do remain together there must be the position of superior and inferior, and I as much as any other man am in favor of having the superior position assigned to the white race. I say upon this occasion I do not perceive that because the white man is to have the superior position the negro should be denied everything.”

Nutstuyu on December 1, 2015 at 6:41 PM

We smell just as bad as they do, we are much more ruthless than they will ever be for we fight for freedom and liberty, they lust for gold and live the greed filled lives of evil men.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on December 1, 2015 at 6:33 PM

Dude…what are you on?

libfreeordie on December 1, 2015 at 6:48 PM

heavily edited video… complete BS as expected from MSNBC Leftists

mathewsjw on December 1, 2015 at 6:52 PM

Ted Cruz is a lawyer and a brilliant one. The fact that he could not answer this question shows that he knows the the word is being misused by him and others. Cruz knows the definition of the word but he has so often used it when it does not apply that he knows an honest answer would make his past uses of the word look stupid.

kurtd on December 1, 2015 at 6:53 PM

Lib free on others

I am a unpaid yet very effective commie delete button.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on December 1, 2015 at 7:38 PM

Joana, no one is arguing against capitalism. But the supply of labor has to be squeezed to a reasonable level so the middle class can survive. That’s why I’m for Trump. I’m not a lunatic and have looked at the whole situation very carefully. Decrease legal and illegal immigration, adjust free trade, and the income disparities will decrease, welfare usage will decrease, etc. Right now, we are in another guilded age. Major adjustments have to be made.

cimbri on December 1, 2015 at 7:40 PM

Next you’ll be telling me that the Confederates were right about blacks.

TDSchemer on December 1, 2015 at 3:51 PM

Can you name ONE major medical, educational, cultural or engineering idea that came from black Africa – just ONE?

bw222 on December 1, 2015 at 7:42 PM

Cruz answered her in the next-to-last encounter; all politicians take the opportunity to gig their opponents when they get a chance, but the final time she asked, he was clearly exasperated with her inability to quit hogging the press time with the same question after he had answered her.
That he didn’t give the answer she was fishing for is irrelevant.

AesopFan on December 1, 2015 at 8:01 PM

AesopFan on December 1, 2015 at 8:01 PM

Pretty much my take as well. It really bothers Allah though.

Bmore on December 1, 2015 at 8:21 PM

I am a unpaid yet very effective commie delete button.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on December 1, 2015 at 7:38 PM

+1

HotAirian on December 1, 2015 at 8:23 PM

And as I’ve said before, you could solve most of the problem with border security, national E-Verify, the ending of sanctuary cities, and penalties/fines/threat of prison for those who enable illegal aliens.

Once again, we don’t seem to disagree on the ends, just the means. But to say “enforcing the law” will take care of everything is missing the point that circumstances change over time (i.e., manpower/resources, government, practicality, etc.). If you are willing to risk the good in favor of the perfect.

Aizen on December 1, 2015 at 3:22 PM

You know what all those things you talk about require? Legislation.

You know what doesn’t? Deportation.

Congress doesn’t have to do a thing except pass the appropriation bills funding the department. And tell me how a Mitch McConnell shutting down the government to protect illegal aliens from being deported works against a newly elected president who won by campaigning on that very issue in the court of public opinion?

NWConservative on December 1, 2015 at 8:38 PM

You know what all those things you talk about require? Legislation.

You know what doesn’t? Deportation.

NWConservative on December 1, 2015 at 8:38 PM

How many times do we have to repeat that simple fact before these high IQ Trumpster Divers figure it out?

Joseph K on December 1, 2015 at 8:45 PM

How many times do we have to repeat that simple fact before these high IQ Trumpster Divers figure it out?

Joseph K on December 1, 2015 at 8:45 PM

It going to be awhile. Most of them frame their arguments so full of emotion it’s hard for them to think logically

Aizen is smart enough to admit when he’s wrong. He’s not so far gone like Shoe.

NWConservative on December 1, 2015 at 8:56 PM

Aizen is smart enough to admit when he’s wrong. He’s not so far gone like Shoe.

NWConservative on December 1, 2015 at 8:56 PM

Yes, he’s smart, and knows how to frame an argument. He’s not really a Trumpster Diver; it’s not like reading Shoe, TDSchemer, or JetCrone.

Joseph K on December 1, 2015 at 9:08 PM

Dude…what are you on?

libfreeordie on December 1, 2015 at 6:48 PM

It’s about bravery and sacrifice. You wouldn’t understand.

Buttercup on December 1, 2015 at 9:18 PM

Joana, no one is arguing against capitalism. But the supply of labor has to be squeezed to a reasonable level so the middle class can survive. That’s why I’m for Trump. I’m not a lunatic and have looked at the whole situation very carefully. Decrease legal and illegal immigration, adjust free trade, and the income disparities will decrease, welfare usage will decrease, etc. Right now, we are in another guilded age. Major adjustments have to be made.

cimbri on December 1, 2015 at 7:40 PM

Believing in that is economic illiteracy. Go study economics. Look, most of you morons can’t even solve a simple quadratic equation or matrix. Or derive a function. Why do you think you’d understand this? Just try and look at history – as I said before, look at past exponential growths in labor supply and see what happened.

Your intuition is wrong. Economics can be awfully counter-intuitive. “Common sense” is often absolutely wrong.

And I couldn’t care less about income disparities, but history shows there isn’t a more powerful weapon to decrease economic inequality than free trade – and it does that by increasing aggregate wealth, not decreasing it.

And yes, that is an argument against capitalism. The entire idea that politicians can do a better job regulating the economy than the market forces is a pure communist argument. You simply don’t want to recognize it.

joana on December 1, 2015 at 9:35 PM

You most certainly didn’t. You assumed that a debt balance was new debt incurred. You lost and ran from the thread.

I can probably name plenty of economists that agree that you don’t know more about economics than you know about financial statements.

blink on December 1, 2015 at 9:22 PM

Not only I didn’t confuse such things, I won the bet -as the fact I’m here and the other person left could show you, if you weren’t such an idiot- you are raging and mad because you can’t answer my question: you can’t name a single economist that agrees with you except other marxist crazies.

joana on December 1, 2015 at 9:37 PM

Cruz is such a sleazy shit. I really don’t understand why he has as much support as he does. I am convinced that he has a ceiling of support and would not be able to get the nomination even if Trump dropped out.

rexbatt on December 1, 2015 at 9:48 PM

blink on December 1, 2015 at 10:10 PM

It had nothing to do with financial statements, it was a simple year over year variation. The other commenter eventually understood he was wrong, admitted and left. He’s around with another account. Just because the creepy unemployed stalker goes around saying I lost it doesn’t make it true.

Agrees with me about what, Idiot? That you’re an idiot? Lots of economists would agree with that.

blink on December 1, 2015 at 10:10 PM

And you still can’t name an economist that agrees with you, either on that or on Smoot–Hawley having nothing to do with the great depression.

joana on December 1, 2015 at 10:31 PM

Cruz is such a phony.

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2015/10/01/what_ted_cruz_really_stands_for_128264.html

ceruleanblue on December 1, 2015 at 8:43 PM

Mark Salter wrote that opinion piece. Mark is a McCain loving POS with no integrity. I would take anything he says with a bucketload of salt.

Lothar Of The Hill People on December 2, 2015 at 1:29 AM

There isn’t an illegal in the US that isn’t involved the drug trade that can support themselves, let alone a family, on the salaries they make with the cost of living here. They aren’t working here for the American Dream, they’re sending their salaries home and living off taxpayer largess. Stop by a bodega and look at the lines waiting to transfer money home…looks like a check cashing business on welfare check day.

Stop ALL benefits of any kind to illegals and their families and stop rewarding anchor babies. Without us paying for them to stay, they’d have no choice but to go home. Once the “streets paved with taxpayer gold” is gone, there’s no reason to come or to stay.

AppraisHer on December 2, 2015 at 2:16 AM

Different day just another hit piece by Allah. Does the GOPe check really keep you going

brainpimp on December 2, 2015 at 11:42 AM

blink on December 2, 2015 at 1:16 AM

There is no use in talking to joana since she’s basically dishonest. It’s all about showing off for her cats.

DFCtomm on December 2, 2015 at 4:01 PM

Can you name ONE major medical, educational, cultural or engineering idea that came from black Africa – just ONE?

bw222 on December 1, 2015 at 7:42 PM

Kunta Kinte

Younggod on December 3, 2015 at 7:52 AM