Let’s play ‘Parse the Words’
Earlier today, MSNBC published a story suggesting Senator Cruz supports legalization of undocumented individuals currently in the United States.
Derived from the fact that Senator Cruz hasn’t specifically stated he does not support legalization of undocumented individuals, the inference is that Cruz must therefore support legalization of undocumented individuals. It’s a nice little semantic game, really.
MSNBC referenced a Texas Tribune article from 2013 which they claim indicates, “that he [Cruz] supported giving some undocumented immigrants permission to stay in the country with more limited legal status.” This summation is not accurate.
The Texas Tribune article, written around the time of the Gang of Eight immigration fight, makes the same incorrect assumption as MSNBC. The first statement is correct while the latter is only partially so:
When it comes to immigration reform, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz has made it abundantly clear what he opposes: giving citizenship to people who broke the law to come here.
What has not been as evident is what he supports: legal status for millions of people here already, while making it easier for immigrants to come here through the front door.
Going on to discuss the Gang of Eight legislation, the Texas Tribune reported:
Immigration-reform legislation from the Senate’s so-called Gang of Eight passed that chamber in June and includes a 13-year path to citizenship. Cruz pushed unsuccessfully for amendments that would have, among other things, eliminated the citizenship component.
Asked about what to do with the people here illegally, however, he stressed that he had never tried to undo the goal of allowing them to stay.
“The amendment that I introduced removed the path to citizenship, but it did not change the underlying work permit from the Gang of Eight,” he said during a recent visit to El Paso. Cruz also noted that he had not called for deportation or, as Mitt Romney famously advocated, self-deportation.
Neither in the Texas Tribune nor at any other time has Senator Cruz ever said he supports legalization for undocumented workers currently residing in the United States.
Senator Cruz’s campaign spokeswoman Catherine Frazier told us Cruz’s goal in the Gang of Eight amendment was three fold: to get Senators on the record showing where they stood on the issue, that it was a good faith effort to improve the bill, and to stop a pathway to citizenship. Frazier explained it was not intended to suggest support for legalization.
“Cruz supports strengthening the border and fixing our legal immigration and interior enforcement systems before we deal with those who are here illegally,” Frazier said. “It’s premature to discuss what to do with those who are still here illegally until we have made these reforms. Indicating that there may be the potential for amnesty in the future, only encourages more illegal immigration.”
Frazier reiterated Senator Cruz’s consistency on the issue, that the Senator is in favor of expanding legal immigration, and that he vocally opposes President Obama’s executive immigration overreach.
While MSNBC’s claim that Senator Cruz has not specifically detailed his stance on legalizing undocumented immigrants is true, the inference that he supports legalization, is false.
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