Sen. Cruz on Immigration Reform: Focus on Areas of Agreement
This morning in a Senate hearing on immigration, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) made a compelling case that Congress should focus on areas of bipartisan agreement if they ever want to get a bill passed, echoing the ideas expressed by Heritage Foundation President Jim DeMint.
First, he noted that there is broad bipartisan agreement that we must “get serious about securing the border, that we need to increase manpower, that we need to increase technology.” He added, “in a post 9/11 world… it doesn’t make sense right now that we don’t know the criminal history, we don’t know the background of those coming in.” We should fix all of this, including the problem of visa-overstays.
Second, we must improve legal immigration — reduce the bureaucracy, reduce the red tape, and reduce the waiting period. We should celebrate legal immigration, he said.
Sen. Cruz also suggested that there is no more divisive issue than a path to citizenship for those who are here illegally. Sen. Cruz stated that in his view, “any bill that insists upon that jeopardizes the likelihood of passing any immigration reform bill.”
The ball is in Congress’s court. They can choose to derail reform over the divisive issues, abandon the rule of law, and repeat the mistakes of 1986, or they can get real work done on important issues about which everyone agrees.
As DeMint stated, “a properly structured lawful immigration system would help our economy.” No one disagrees with that. Heritage has long suggested that we should make the legal immigration process “more efficient, more merit-based.”
This is precisely the type of intelligent action Sen. Cruz is asking his colleagues to take.