Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, said Thursday he opposes granting amnesty for anyone who entered the country illegally, even as President Trump is suggesting he was willing to pursue the option.
“I do not believe we should be granting a path to citizenship to anybody here illegally,” Cruz said Thursday. “Doing so is inconsistent with the promises we made to the men and women who elected us.”
Cruz’s comments come of the heels of Trump signaling he was open to the possibility of illegal aliens assuming citizenship.
“It’s going to happen at some point in the future, over a period of 10-12 years,” Trump told reporters on Wednesday. “I think it’s a nice thing to have the incentive of after a period of years being able to become a citizen.”
And on Thursday, the White House was reportedly floating the idea of granting citizenship to nearly 2 million illegal immigrants as long as other border measures were approved, including building the border wall and ending chain migration and the diversity visa lottery.
Trump announced he would submit a “legislative framework” for a potential immigration plan to a bipartisan group of congressional leaders on Monday and a bipartisan group of senators agreed on a process to write an immigration reform bill that protects so-called "Dreamers," bolsters border security, and reforms the nation’s immigration system.
White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said Wednesday that Trump's framework will include his priorities, such as securing the border and providing a permanent solution to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program and would include input from “dozens of meetings” Trump has had with bipartisan Congressional leadership.
Cruz also pointed out the DACA program under the Obama administration did not include provisions for citizenship.
“For some reason that to me is utterly inexplicable, we see Republicans falling all over themselves to gallop to the left of Obama in a way that is contrary to the promises made to the voters who elected us,” Cruz said. “We need to honor the promises we made. And that is what I am energetically urging my colleagues to do.”
The Trump administration announced last year that DACA, which protects those who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children, would end, and that it was up to Congress to legislate a new program by March 5.