“If we put in place a strong E-Verify system and deport criminal illegal aliens, the number of people here illegally will drop significantly, particularly if there’s not a continual flow of people coming in illegally,” Cruz said.

“At that point, once we’ve demonstrated that we can solve the problem, then we can have a conversation about what to do about whatever people remain illegally,” Cruz added. When asked if that conversation included the potential for a pathway to legal status, he repeated, “We can have that conversation with the American people once we secure the border.”