Cruz: Gang of 8 Bill Offers "Same Empty Promises" As 1986 Reform
SEN. TED CRUZ: This Gang of Eight bill is a disaster. It is the exact same thing we saw in 1986. The last big immigration reform was in 1986, and the federal government told the American people, we're gonna grant amnesty for the three million people who are here illegally. And in exchange for that we're actually gonna secure the borders. We're gonna solve illegal immigration, and the problem is gonna go away.
Now, we saw what happened. The amnesty happened, the borders never got secured, and now three decades later, instead of three million people, it's 11 million people.
RUSH LIMBAUGH: Is it 11 or is it -- do we really know how many it is?
CRUZ: We don't know. I mean, the estimates vary, 11 million, 12 million. We don't have an exact number, but it is three to four times bigger than what it was in 1986, and we're hearing the exact same empty promises. What the Gang of Eight bill does is it grants legalization now. It takes everyone who's here illegally and says, "You're legal," and then just like in 1986 it promises, "sometime in the future, trust us, wink-wink, we'll secure the border." I don't think the American people are that foolish. You know, fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. If this bill is enacted, it will make the problem worse. If this bill is enacted, in another decade or two we're gonna be back here not with 11 million, but with 20 million or 30 million people here illegally. This is a broken system. I think what Americans want is fix the problem, stop playing political games, actually secure the border and make a legal immigration system that works.
RUSH: Senator, you've been, obviously, observing and commenting on political life in America for a long time. You've been in the Senate now for six months. Could you explain to me and people in this audience, why do the Democrats want this, and why do the Republicans who support this want it?
CRUZ: Well, the Democrats want this for pure politics. Chuck Schumer was very candid in the Senate Judiciary Committee when he said, "If there is no citizenship, there can be no reform." This is all about their endeavor. They want to grant amnesty, and they hope to get a lot more Democratic voters, or they want this to be voted down and use it as a political issue in 2014 and 2016.
On the Republican side, sadly, a lot of the support of it is political as well. You know, after 2012, all of the Washington political consultants and all the mainstream media came to Republicans and said, "You've got to do better with Hispanics, and the way to do better with Hispanics is to embrace amnesty." And, look, a lot of Republicans in Washington were scared. I gotta tell you, I think that political argument is complete nonsense. If you look at the last time we enacted amnesty in 1986, the next election was 1988, the Republican share of the Hispanic vote went down. It is not the case -- Hispanics are not the single-issue, monolithic voters.
My dad was an immigrant from Cuba with nothing. And many Hispanics believe in rule of law, and you've got a bunch of Republican longtime officeholders in Washington who are scared and listening to the consultants. Let me tell you an interesting poll number. In Texas, Rush, we polled Hispanic voters in Texas and asked them, "Number one, do you support more border security?" Sixty-eight percent of Hispanic voters in Texas support more border security. But the second question is even more revealing. Hispanic voters we asked, "Do you support a pathway to citizenship or work permits that do not allow citizenship?" And a plurality, 46% of Hispanic voters in Texas supported a work permit without citizenship and only 35% supported a pathway to citizenship. This is a crock that is being sold to Republican politicians that they can just buy off Hispanics, and frankly it's offensive, but it's being sold as pure politics.