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Sen. Ted Cruz Compares Senate Immigration Bill To Obamacare

SEN. TED CRUZ (R-TX): We have seen this play before. It is reminiscent of Obamacare, yet another bill that we were told we've got to pass it to find out what's in it. And, unfortunately, it seems, there are some republicans eager to go along with the democrats in the mad rush to pass this bill. In the 2007 immigration debate, close to 50 amendments were considered. In this debate, only nine have been debated. I introduced seven substantive amendments to improve this bill. Not a single one has been considered on the floor of the senate.

My point is very simple: what is the rush? Why are we proceeding gangbusters? And the only explanation that makes sense is there are many senators it seems in this body perhaps on both sides of the aisle that very much want a fig leaf. They want something that they can claim we are supporting border security when, in fact, this bill does not.

The first and most important difference is this amendment provides legalization first and then border security maybe at some time in the future. We have seen this before. In 1986 it was the same promise congress made, and we got the legalization, we got the amnesty and we never, ever, ever got border security. In contrast, the amendment I introduced reflects the will of the American people to have border security first and only then the possibility of legalization.

Secondly, this amendment does not require operational control of the border. Current law requires that. This amendment weakens current law on operational control. My amendment would require that the problem actually be solved.

Thirdly, this amendment does not require a biometric entry-exit system. It weakens current law. Current law requires it. This amendment takes that out. Instead, it requires essentially a photo ID. I would suggest, madam president, for anyone who perhaps has known a teenager, you would know that the difficult of securing a fake ID with a picture on it is not very high. Any flea market in the land will allow it.

Fourth, this bill weakens the requirements of statutes on secure fencing. It weakens current law on border security.

Fifth, this amendment is not offset. My amendment was offset so it's brand-new spending in this amendment with no offset.

And sixth, this amendment has no real enforcement. The amendment I introduced said if the changes within it on border patrol agent were not implemented within three years, 20 percent of the salary of political appointees at DHS would be reduced, 20 percent of the budget reduced and it would be block granted to the state to fix the problem.

Fundamentally, this is about political cover. It's not about solving the problem. And I would suggest the approach is one we're all familiar with. It is the approach that perhaps in childhood we knew well. It is an approach that says: I will gladly secure the border next Tuesday for legalization today.

Now, if we were naive, if we had not been through 1986, if we had not seen congress play this same shell game with the American people, perhaps we would fall for it. But I don't think the American people are that gullible. Everyone wants to fix our broken immigration system but at the same time we shouldn't be replicating mistakes of the past.

This amendment and the underlying Gang of Eight bill grants immediate legalization and the border security changes will never be implemented and the border will not be secured. That's not a solution the American people can be proud of, and I urge this body to reject the amendment, to vote against cloture and reject the underlying bill.

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