Cruz flip-flops on legal immigration, implies most illegals can stay

Ted Cruz, who previously said he wanted to increase legal immigration fivefold, has now changed his mind.

Cruz's plan calls for curbs on legal immigration by halting any increases in the number of people coming to the United States legally until the economy improves and temporarily stopping the issuance of visas for high-tech workers because of reported abuses in the program.

The policy proposals are a shift for Cruz, who in 2013 supported doubling the caps on green cards and increasing the number of the visas for high tech workers fivefold.

Cruz has wanted to increase legal immigration for years, and now, less than 90 days before Iowa votes, he has changed his position.  I think this is fair to call a flip-flop.  The fact is, though, that while one can debate the merits of increasing or decreasing legal immigration, illegal immigration is ten times worse, because it is unscreened, it usually features individuals with lesser education and abilities, and many more end up committing crimes or going on welfare.

Cruz also talked for the first time about deportation of illegals:

He said a Cruz administration would end the "catch-and-release" program that currently doesn't immediately deport all immigrants caught crossing the border illegally. He would also immediately identify and deport immigrants convicted of crimes.

The fact is that all illegals have committed at least one crime: entering the country illegally.  By saying he would deport only those convicted of additional "crimes," Cruz seems to be saying that he would not deport the vast majority of illegals whose only criminal act is entering the country illegally.  This is a tremendous disappointment for a rule-of-law candidate.

This also makes Donald Trump a better choice on immigration than Ted Cruz, since Trump wants to deport them all (while allowing an unknown number to return after an unknown period of time).  But at least Trump promises to deport them initially.

I get the impression that Ted Cruz wants to secure the border but doesn't have the guts to deal with the illegals already here.  I think he's a smart, constitutional conservative on most issues, like taxes, government spending, and judges – much more so than Donald Trump.  But Trump is much better on immigration.  It presents a great quandary regarding whom a constitutional conservative should vote for.

This article was written by Ed Straker, senior writer of, the conservative news site.

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