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Sen. Cruz on Immigration Legislation

Makes Opening Statement in Judiciary Committee Hearing

April 22, 2013

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press@cruz.senate.gov / (202) 228-7561

WASHINGTON DC – U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) today offered an opening statement in the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on immigration. Excerpts of his remarks and a link to video of his remarks are below.

“I think there is enormous agreement in this country that our immigration system right now is broken…

“I think all of us would like to see a bill that fixes the broken immigration system. In my view, the strategy that will be effective to pass a bill is to focus on where there is wide bipartisan agreement... In my judgment, there are two broad areas, where there is bipartisan agreement right now.

“Number one, I think there is bipartisan agreement that we’ve got to get serious about securing the border. That we need to increase manpower, that we need to increase technology, that we need to fix the problem. In a post-9/11 world, I think it doesn’t make sense right now that we don’t know the criminal history, we don’t know the background of those coming in. I think there’s wide agreement we should fix that, including the problem of visa overstays, which is a significant component of illegal immigration today.

“There is, likewise, wide bipartisan agreement that we need to improve legal immigration. That we need to streamline it, that we need to reduce the bureaucracy, reduce the red tape, reduce the waiting periods.

“One of the things that all three of the witnesses talked about today are the difficulties of the existing H-2A system and having that system work . One of reasons we see illegal immigration at the levels we do is because our legal immigration system is not working effectively. I think we should all be champions of legal immigrants, making the system work, and not just welcoming but celebrating legal immigrants.

“…I don’t think there is any issue in this entire debate that is more divisive than a path to citizenship for those who are here illegally. In my view, any bill that insists upon that jeopardizes the likelihood of passing any immigration reform bill.

“So, it is my hope that passing a bipartisan bill addressing areas of common agreement – securing the border, improving legal immigration, improving agricultural workers to ensure that we have workers who are here out of the shadows, able to work legally.

“I hope that reform legislation will not be held hostage to an issue that is deeply, deeply divisive, namely a pathway to citizenship. In my view that’s how we get something done, we focus on areas of agreement, not on areas of disagreement. And I am hopeful that over the course of consideration, we’ll see some consensus come together to do exactly that.”

View video of the Senator's comments below:

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