The U.S. Senate shot down four different immigration compromise bills Thursday and all four of them contained immigration provisions that were far from the campaign promises made to voters during the 2016 election.
Just before the vote began Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, took to the Senate floor to call out his colleagues for the move saying that he was “flabbergasted” that his own party was putting forward legislation “markedly to the left of President Obama.”
Minutes after the vote, Cruz joined CRTV to talk about where immigration goes from here and the “catastrophic” consequences the GOP’s amnesty push could have for President Trump’s tenure in office.
Here’s a full transcript of the interview:
We saw four different immigration bills come to the floor earlier, and all four of them failed. So first off, what happens now?
Well, I imagine people are gonna go behind closed doors and try to cut yet another deal. The danger is not yet past. There remain an awful lot of senators, all the Democrats, and a ton of Republicans who seem to be working very, very hard to grant amnesty and a path to citizenship to one, two, three, four, ten million people here illegally. I think that doesn’t make any sense. I think it’s a serious mistake, but they’re gonna keep working at it.
Now, let’s talk about that. Out of those four proposals, you pointed out on the floor earlier that all of them would have at least tripled the amount of amnesty that Obama gave out with the DACA order. What does that say about where the Party is on immigration right now?
Look, we’re out of our minds. It does not make sense what Republicans are doing. By any measure, the proposals we voted on today are markedly to the left of Barack Obama. Not a little bit to the left, a lot to the left. Obama’s executive amnesty covered 690,000 people. I do not understand why so many Republicans are trying to expand that from 690,000 to 1.8 million. That’s more than double, that’s nearly triple the number of people being protected by this unlawful amnesty. Obama’s executive amnesty did not provide citizenship. It didn’t provide a path to citizenship. It was simply a work permit, and yet, Republican senators seem to be falling all over themselves to grant citizenship, and to grant it to a pool much larger than Obama. Right now Republicans are galloping to the left of President Obama on illegal immigration. I think that’s a serious, serious mistake.
Back in the day there used to be the phenomenon of the Rockefeller Republican. Do you think we’re getting the phenomenon of the Obama Republican now?
Well, you know, I think that’s probably not fair to Nelson Rockefeller. He never would’ve voted for this amnesty. In a million years Rockefeller wouldn’t have voted for this. Look, for some reason, Washington Republicans, when you’re in this town, when you’re in this beltway a long time, it becomes really important to you to be liked. You want the press to say nice things. So, internally, they don’t have any explanation when I ask, “Why are you moving to the left of Obama on this?” They just don’t wanna be criticized by the reporters. They wanna be criticized by the Democrats. But that will be a losing argument no matter how much they do. If Republicans vote to grant amnesty for ten million people, Democrats will immediately demagogue them and say, “We need amnesty for twelve million, or fifteen million.” They will always go to the left, and the press will always dutifully echo that. We need to be doing what we actually said we would do.
So if the word’s not kept, what do voters do next?
I think the consequences could be really catastrophic. If Republican majorities in both Houses grant amnesty and a path to citizenship for a couple million people, I think the odds are very likely to be that Republicans lose majorities in both Houses of Congress, and that Speaker Pelosi indicts President Trump. Let me tell you why I think that’s the case. 2018’s a turnout election. I think if you were to design in a laboratory a legislative proposal to suppress the votes of millions of conservatives, and millions of Reagan Democrats, working-class blue-collar voters, you couldn’t come up with a better proposal, something more likely to do it than amnesty and a path to citizenship for millions here illegally. I do not understand why so many Republicans seem eager to hold hands and jump off the cliff together.