Cruz, Rubio Step Up Attacks Over Immigration

Editor
By Editor February 25, 2016 08:22

Cruz, Rubio Step Up Attacks Over Immigration

By: Lorin McLain

The gloves are off between GOP candidates Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio as South Carolina had its turn to vote in the 2016 primary. Both candidates have mounted uncompromising attacks, lodging personal barbs labeling each other liars, and challenging each other’s credibility. At the center of this is the hot-button issue of immigration, and is where each candidate claims to have the toughest position on reforming it.

Cruz, in the week leading up to the primary, tried to turn Rubio’s accusation of calling him a liar against him, telling “Fox and Friends,” “I guess if Marco’s team has told him ‘if anyone brings up your actual (voting) record, the fact that over and over again you’ve supported amnesty, just yell liar.” Cruz’s latest ad attacking Rubio spotlights the Florida senator’s 2013 failed immigration bill that would have created a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants in the U.S., given they met certain criteria and paid a tax penalty. Rubio has responded by saying Cruz is mischaracterizing his record, and is accusing Cruz of saying anything that’s politically expedient. While Cruz is putting a lot of effort into trying to look like the hard-line, tough-on-immigration candidate, the fact is they’ve both supported expanding legal immigration. But where do they differ?

When Rubio accused Cruz of legalizing people in the country illegally in December’s debate, he was referring to a Cruz-supported initiative that called for a 500-percent increase in the number of visas for guest workers allowed in the country. He also supported doubling the number of green cards. The proposals were his amendments to Rubio’s “Gang of Eight” bill, and would have eliminated the bill’s path to citizenship.

Cruz recently reversed his position, calling for a freeze on legal immigration “until the economy improves.” In interviews around the time of the fifth Republican debate, Cruz made efforts to avoid answering what he would do with undocumented immigrants; and when pressed, he suggested having the conversation once the border is secure. In the meantime, Rubio seems dangerously close to suddenly changing long-held support of a green card process for immigrants to become citizens. In last month’s debate he stated, “whether it’s green cards or any other form of entry into America, when I’m president, if we don’t know who you are or why you’re coming, you are not going to get into the United States of America.” When Cruz went on the offensive during the latest debate accusing Rubio of telling Univision he would not rescind President Obama’s order on immigration, the argument devolved into who had a better handle on speaking Spanish.

Editor
By Editor February 25, 2016 08:22

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