Did Donald Trump get the idea for a border fence from Ted Cruz?

Donald Trump claims that Ted Cruz is copying his idea of building a border fence, but the reality may be the opposite.  First, here's what Trump says:

Well, first of all, his plan just happened, OK? In fact, I was watching the other day. And I was watching Ted talk. And he said, 'We will build a wall.' The first time I've ever heard him say it," he continued. "And my wife, who was sitting next to me, said, 'Oh, look. He's copying what you've been saying for a long period of time.'" 

But if we go back to May 9, 2013, we find that Ted Cruz was not only speaking in favor of a border fence, but pushing hard for it legislatively:

 A Senate committee rejected an immigration-legislation amendment offered by Sen. Ted Cruz today that would have added significant security resources along the U.S.-Mexico border.

The amendment proposed tripling the number of Border Patrol agents stationed along the U.S.-Mexico border and quadrupling equipment, “including cameras, sensors, drones and helicopters,” within three years. And the 700 miles of border fence required by a 2006 law would need to be finished.

And what was Donald Trump talking about during this time?  Not a border fence, that's for sure.  Instead, just a few months earlier, Trump was saying that Mitt Romney's self-deportation program was "mean-spirited," further adding:

The GOP has to develop a comprehensive policy “to take care of this incredible problem that we have with respect to immigration, with respect to people wanting to be wonderful productive citizens of this country,” Trump says. 

In fact, as recently as June of 2015, Trump was still talking about amnesty for illegal aliens:

You don't have to go back far to find a pro-amnesty statement from the No. 1 defender of deportation. At the end of June, speaking to the press in Chicago and after saying he "heard you probably have 30 million" illegal aliens in America, Trump contended:

"You have to give them a path, and you have to make it possible for them to succeed. You have to do that. But the bad ones, and there are bad ones, you have to get out, and you have to get them out fast."

That's "path" as in "path to citizenship," not a path to exit the country via our southern border. And it's clear he was referring to the bulk of the millions of aliens. The "bad ones" he would deport he depicts as a minority of the illegals. How small a minority is wide open to speculation

So if you go back in time, it was Cruz, not Trump, who first pushed a border fence not just with rhetoric, but with legislation, and it was Trump who started talking about the need for a border fence after Cruz started pushing for it.  Because up to then, Trump was a pro-amnesty liberal democrat.

That's the problem with criticizing the history of other candidates when your own history of conservatism goes back only six months.  Cruz has not had a perfect history on immigration – he has pushed increased H1-B visas in the past, for example – but he has never pushed amnesty for illegal aliens as Trump did.

So Cruz, who was pushing the idea of a border fence while Trump was still a pro-amnesty liberal democrat, was the first to bring this idea to the forefront, and Trump came later.  Trump criticizing Cruz on his history regarding border security is just as ironic as criticizing Cruz for not being sufficiently religious.

Exit question: When Ted Cruz comes home, do you think his wife says, "I saw Donald Trump on TV talking about a border fence, and he sounded just like you"?

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