Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) urged his House Republican colleagues Tuesday to put the brakes on attempts to overhaul the nation's immigration laws this year, saying that any agreement reached with the Senate in the coming months would only upset GOP chances of retaking control of the U.S. Senate.
While congressional Republican leaders may be pushing colleagues to keep focus this election year on concerns with the new health-care law and the nation's economy, Cruz said he's been concerned that House Republicans appear to be renewing their push to enact new immigration legislation, or what he described as "a massive amnesty bill."
House Republican leaders said last week for the first time that they would be open to allowing the nation’s 11 million illegal immigrants to live and work legally in the United States, but they emphasized that most would not be offered a “special path” to achieve citizenship.
“Whether or not you agree with Republican leadership strategy of avoiding every fight on every topic to keep the focus on Obamacare, it makes utterly no sense to affirmatively, voluntarily change the topic to amnesty right before what is poised to be an historic election victory for Republicans," Cruz told The Post on Tuesday. "I guarantee you President Obama and Harry Reid are dancing in their offices at the desire of the Washington beltway crowd to light themselves on fire.”
Cruz said he remains eager to enact "common-sense immigration reform" that would include securing the U.S.-Mexico border and an agreement to "improve and streamline legal immigration." But, he added: "The time to do so is next year when we have a strong Republican majority in the Senate, when we're negotiating with a Republican majority and not with Chuck Schumer."
Schumer (D-N.Y.) and seven other Democratic and Republican senators wrote a bipartisan immigration reform measure that passed the Senate last year.
Cruz went further, suggesting that the GOP focus on immigration "makes utterly no sense unless your objective is to keep Harry Reid as majority leader. Anyone pushing for Congress to take up amnesty right now — which if it passed would keep millions of Americans home in November, it’s the one thing that could maintain a Democratic majority — is if Congress goes out of its way to affirmatively pass an amnesty bill. And anyone pushing that right now should go ahead and put a ‘Harry Reid for Majority Leader’ bumper sticker on their car."