Senator from Texas and 2016 Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz said on CNN’s State of the Union on Sunday that he opposes Donald Trump’s plan for a new deportation force that would seek out and round up undocumented immigrants.
In the above-embedded video, CNN’s Jake Tapper can be seen asking Sen. Cruz, “You [and Donald Trump] both say you want to deport the 11 to 12 million undocumented immigrants in this country. Now, Trump has said that he will have a deportation force that will go door-to-door and round people up and get rid of them. You haven’t really been clear as far as I can tell as to how you’re going to get all these people out of the country. How will you get them out?”
Sen. Cruz replied by explaining his border security plan, prompting Tapper to clarify, “I’m not talking about the border, though. I’m talking about the people that are already in this country… how do you get the people that are already in here out?”
Cruz said, “You put in place a strong E-verify system. That means people cannot get employment without proving that they’re here legally. You put in place a strong biometric exit/entry system for visas so that we know the instance someone overstays their visa. Forty percent of illegal immigration is visa overstays and by the way you can’t – deportations are ineffective until you secure the border. Why? Because right now when we deport someone, often they come back in two or three days. It’s like if a boat is sinking you’ve got to patch it up before you start bailing. If you never fix the hole, it will never work.”
He added, “We have an enforcement force. It’s called Border Patrol and it’s called Immigration and Customs Enforcement… If I am elected president, I will follow the Constitution and I will enforce the law. Federal immigration law says that if we apprehended an individual who is here illegally they are to be deported. I will enforce the law.”
Tapper pressed, “I don’t mean to be disrespectful, but it seems like a fairly simple answer yes or no. Will you have people going door-to-door rounding people up?”
Sen. Cruz replied, “Door-to-door, we don’t have any system that knocks on the doors of every person in America. That is not actually how the American law enforcement system works. We also don’t have people going door-to-door looking for murderers. We don’t live in a police state. We do have law enforcement. How do we catch people? We catch them through things like E-verify. We catch them through things like the criminal law enforcement system where in 2013 do you know how many criminal illegal aliens the Obama Administration released? It was over 104,000. 196 with homicide convictions, murderers. Roughly 400 with sexual assault convictions, rapists. That – those numbers should be zero. Over 16,000 with drunk driving convictions. So, we enforce the laws.”
After criticizing Tapper for playing a “media game” by asking the question about Trump’s “deportation force” plan, Cruz concluded his explanation of his position on undocumented immigration by saying, “No, I don’t intend to send jack boots to knock on your door and every door in America. That’s not how we enforce the law for any crime.”
The below-embedded MSNBC video, provided for context, shows Donald Trump explaining his deportation force plan on a Nov. 2015 episode of Morning Joe. Trump claims that, if he becomes president, after he deports all of America’s illegal immigrants, he will allow “some fantastic people that have been here for a long period of time” to apply for citizenship for the chance to return to the U.S.
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