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Press Release - Ted Cruz Announces Policy to Stop Illegal Immigration

November 13, 2015


Cruz Plan Will Secure the Border, Enforce the Rule of Law, and Protect Americans

ORLANDO, Florida – Presidential candidate Ted Cruz today announced his "Stop Illegal Immigration" plan – the policy he will implement as President to secure the border and enforce the rule of law in order to create the environment necessary to finally fix our legal immigration system. Only when the border is secure and the rule of law enforced can reforms be meaningfully implemented to fix our legal immigration system. Cruz presented his plan at a grassroots rally of more than 1,500 in Orlando, Florida.

"We have a serious immigration problem in America," Cruz said. "The American people understand that we must reverse the policies that invite criminals and terrorists to defy the law, allow manipulation of our generous immigration system, and reward illegal immigrants for their actions.  Sadly, while the Obama Administration ignores our immigration laws and abuses its executive authority, the Washington Cartel refuses to stand up and insist that the law be followed. A strong President can and must secure the border.  Under current law, there is more than enough legal authority to do so; what is missing is the political will.  In the Senate, I have stood consistently with the majority of Americans against amnesty and lawlessness, and I will do the same as President."

SECURE THE BORDER

A Cruz Administration's first priority for immigration reform will be to secure the U.S.-Mexico border. We will:

  • Build a wall that works.  The unsecured border with Mexico invites illegal immigrants, criminals, and terrorists to tread on American soil.  A Cruz Administration will fulfill the promise Congress made to the American people almost 10 years ago by completing all 700 miles of priority fencing along the U.S.-Mexico border, and dedicate the resources necessary to replace all single-layer fencing along the U.S.-Mexico border to build a fence that keeps people out and that is technology-supported and law enforcement-accessible.
  • Triple the number of Border Patrol agents.  Securing the border is the federal government's obligation, and sufficient human resources must be allocated for the task.  In 2013, Cruz introduced legislation to triple the number of Border Patrol agents along the U.S.-Mexico border. A Cruz Administration will work with Congress to pass and sign this legislation to make more boots on the ground a reality.
  • Increase vital aerial surveillance and other technology along the border.  Adding boots on the ground is not enough.  Eyes in the sky and other equipment are necessary to find and detain all illegal entrants. In 2013, Cruz introduced legislation to increase fourfold the number of fixed-wing and rotary-wing aircraft that are deployed to the border to ensure valuable reconnaissance and protection for our Border Patrol. A Cruz Administration will continue to press for this to become law.
  •  Finish the biometric tracking system at our nation's ports of entry.  It is disgraceful that our federal government cannot keep track of those who enter our country. Since 1996, Congress has "required" full implementation of an entry-exit system at all of our ports of entry, yet multiple administrations, both Democrat and Republican, have refused to follow that law. In the first 100 days of a Cruz Administration, those who have broken the law will be held accountable, regulations that stand in the way of finishing the system will be eliminated, and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will complete implementation in the first year.
  •  Hold DHS accountable to the American people.  Under the Obama Administration, DHS has failed to perform core national security tasks.  The Department of Homeland Security must be able to fulfill its obligation to American citizens, and its officials must be held accountable. A Cruz Administration will appoint a no-nonsense, security-focused leader as Secretary of Homeland Security, will empower the Secretary to remove DHS employees who refuse to abide by the law, and will partner with the states so they can assist with immigration enforcement and border security.

RESTORE THE RULE OF LAW

We need a President who will follow the law, hold those who break it accountable, and take seriously the duty to protect Americans.  To restore the Rule of Law, a Cruz Administration will:

  • End President Obama's illegal amnesty.  President Obama has issued no fewer than 20 illegal executive memoranda that grant amnesty, ignore the law, and worsen our immigration problems. A Cruz Administration will rescind every one of them, will push for passage of the Immigration Slush Fund Elimination Act, and will ensure that fees paid by legal immigrants go toward supporting legal immigration only, to improve and streamline legal immigration.
  •  Increase deportations and end catch-and-release.  Our laws are not being enforced. A Cruz Administration will restore our commitment to enforcement, public safety, and the Rule of Law by rededicating DHS to fully enforcing the law, including through deportations and returns. It will end catch-and-release on our southern border and at our ports of entry – people who are apprehended trying to enter the United States without permission will be detained until they are removed from the United States.
  •  End sanctuary policies, sign Kate's law, and deport criminal immigrants.  There are about 340 sanctuary jurisdictions in the United States that make a mockery of our laws and endanger our citizens. A Cruz Administration will work with Congress to pass and sign the Stop Sanctuary Cities and Protect Americans Act, and will strip funding from jurisdictions that implement sanctuary policies. A Cruz Administration will also find, prosecute, and deport criminal immigrants, sign Kate's Law, and regain control of immigration courts.
  •  Prevent asylum abuse and criminalize visa overstays. Many illegal immigrants who are apprehended at the border are released into the United States based on questionable claims of persecution in their home countries. Additionally, about 40 percent of the illegal immigrants currently in the U.S. came legally but overstayed their visa. A Cruz Administration will institute new standards that allow for summary dismissal of dubious asylum claims and will penalize visa overstays by making it a misdemeanor for a first offense, and a felony for any subsequent offense, for any individual to be unlawfully present in the United States after the expiration of a visa.
  •  Prohibit illegal immigrants from receiving financial benefits and strengthen E-Verify.  American taxpayers should not be funding benefits for those who are here illegally, and American jobs should not go to those who are here illegally. A Cruz Administration will protect Americans' wellbeing by stopping the flow of taxpayer dollars to those here illegally and instituting a strong, widely accessible e-verify system.

REFORM LEGAL IMMIGRATION TO PROTECT AMERICANS

In order to strengthen our immigration system, protect national security, and better serve American workers, we must:

  • Suspend the issuance of all H-1B visas for 180 days to complete a comprehensive investigation and audit of pervasive allegations of abuse of the program.  New allegations detail appalling abuses of the H-1B visa program – a program meant to create American jobs and spur economic growth.  I will suspend the program for 180 days to investigate abuses and enact fundamental reforms of this program to ensure that it protects American workers. A Cruz Administration will enforce existing protections for American workers and amend the H-1B visa program to fulfill its original purpose through the following actions:
    • Create a "layoff cool-off" period for all H-1B visa applications:  Companies must wait one or two years between laying off a worker and bringing in any H-1B foreign workers to ensure that the program is not used to displace American workers.
    • Establish accreditation or recognition requirements for overseas schools:  The recent lack of federal oversight of the H-1B visa program has fueled a cottage industry of diploma mills.  Foreign academic institutions must meet minimum accreditation standards at least as stringent as those imposed on American universities in order to qualify for the advanced-degree requirement.
    • Require sworn affidavits describing domestic hiring efforts:  Companies will provide sworn statements and documentation that detail their efforts to hire Americans before requesting foreign workers through the H-1B visa program.  Individuals who make false statements in these affidavits will be subject to perjury charges.
    • Suspend companies from H-1B visa eligibility for failure to help foreign workers obtain green cards:  Many companies misuse the H-1B visa program to train foreign workers that they intend to send back overseas to compete with America.  The law must impose additional requirements on employers to pursue Legal Permanent Resident status on behalf of their H-1B visa-based foreign workers, or risk loss of access to the program.
  • Halt any increases in legal immigration so long as American unemployment remains unacceptably high.  The purpose of legal immigration should be to grow the economy, not to displace American workers.  Under no circumstances should legal immigration levels be adjusted upwards so long as work-force participation rates remain below historical averages.
  • Enforce the public-charge doctrine.  Current law requires legal immigrants to certify that they will be economically self-sufficient.  A Cruz Administration will ensure they do not receive government assistance, which defies the law and harms American taxpayers.
  • End birthright citizenship.  Birthright citizenship was not intended to legalize the children of people who are breaking the law by entering and staying in the country illegally.  I will take steps to pass legislation or a constitutional amendment to end it.
  • Eliminate visa programs and strategies that do not serve national goals.  Some existing entrance policies and visa programs do not support our long-term, national security, and economic interests.  A Cruz Administration will end chain migration by only allowing entry of immediate family of immigrants who qualify already for skills-based immigration, and end diversity visas that are premised neither on skill nor family, but are distributed at random based solely on the race or nationality of an applicant.

Cruz's full "Stop Illegal Immigration" policy may be viewed here.

Ted Cruz, Press Release - Ted Cruz Announces Policy to Stop Illegal Immigration Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/315291

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