Ted Cruz is not lying about his ‘Gang of Eight’ amendment

Well, doncha know? Ted Cruz is caught red-handed supporting the legalization of “the eleven million people who are here illegaly.” He said so explicitly at the time in 2013. Dead to rights. Ted Cruz supported legalization of illegal immigrants.

But, maybe there was a qualifier to his support? Like, maybe he only supported legalization on the condition that his ‘Gang of Eight’ amendment had passed?

Of course, that is the only relatively sober way to interpret his comments. But what was his amendment? His amendment was a single paragraph:

“Notwithstanding any other provision of law, no person who is or has previously been willfully present in the United States while not in lawful status under the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1101 et seq.) shall be eligible for United States citizenship.”

So, Ted Cruz supported legalization of illegal immigrants–so long as they could never become citizens, i.e. so long as they could never vote.

Well, it occured to me the other day that this was pretty much the exact amnesty plan proposed by the El Rushbo before the 2012 election and repeated by him throughout 2013. The proposal is variously referred to on his website as The Limbaugh Amnesty ProposalThe Limbaugh Amnesty Plan and The Limbaugh Immigration Bill. One example, on January 29, 2013, the El Rushbo said:

“I will announce it on my radio show that I, El Rushbo, support amnesty, just one proviso: ‘All of those who are in the country illegally, and who are granted amnesty, cannot vote for 25 years.’ I thought that was fair, and I thought that was a way of getting to the nub of all this. Now, some people thought that I was just trying to be funny, but I was trying to make a point. I’ll support amnesty. We’ll make ’em full-fledged citizens. But as a penalty for having been here illegally, they can’t vote for 25 years. Seems fair. I didn’t get one person asking me to join the cause. Because it is about votes and money and all the other things.”

If this is distinguishable from the Cruz amendment, it is only that the Cruz amendment is more strict. In fact, the Cruz amendment seems likely to have been inspired by the Limbaugh Amnesty Proposal.

Rush said years later…

“I offered to support comprehensive immigration reform, which many think would guarantee its passage. It would actually be the end of my radio show if I did that. But I offered to support it if there was a promise that the new arrivals could not become citizens for 20 years and could not vote for 25. And I was not taken up on my offer. Nobody was interested in my offer.”

Cruz said in 2013, “I don’t want immigration reform to fail. I want immigration reform to pass. So I would urge people of good faith on both sides of the aisle: If the objective is to pass common-sense immigration reform that secures the borders, that improves legal immigration, and that allows those who are here illegally to come in out of the shadows, then we should look for areas of bipartisan agreement, and compromise to come together. And this amendment, I believe, if this amendment were to pass, the chances of this bill passing into law would increase dramatically.” The similarity to El Rushbo’s reflection on his Amnesty Proposal is unmistakable.

A major obstacle that people have to understanding Cruz’s position and tactics here is that it is not well understood that a person might support a bill for a particular reason even if they don’t support everything in the bill. An excellent example of this was when Marco Rubio was confronted at the first GOP debate, August 6, 2015, about having supported a bill that had exceptions for abortion in the case of rape and incest even though he claimed that he had always been against such exceptions.

On CNN the next day, he told Chris Cuomo, “Think about it this way: I’m in favor of a 20-week abortion ban. Does that mean I’m in favor of abortions at 19 weeks? Any bill that reduces the number of abortions is a bill that I’m going to support… I’ve never said that I will only support a bill that has an exception in it. But I will support bills that have exceptions in it because they prevent abortions.”

Similarly, Cruz never said that he would support legalization of illegal immigrants per se. He only supported it on the condition that it had an amendment which advanced his agenda but would never be included. That is also what the El Rushbo said. It is difficult to see why someone should advocate the same particular policy in different situations, other than some bizarre commitment to #ConsistencyUberAlles. When opposing a progressive cabal bent on changing the electorate, someone should have different objectives than when they are President and hold more cards.

Categories: commentary, trump

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