GOP Presidential contender Ted Cruz is trying to distinguish himself as being tougher on immigration than his Republican rivals in the race. Cruz, the son of a Cuban migrant father, has repeatedly said that he is against “amnesty.” Ironically, Cruz’s father came to the U.S. on a student visa in 1957 and then received political asylum in the U.S. before moving to Canada. Rafael Cruz, Ted Cruz’s dad, actually did not become a citizen of the U.S. until 2005.
Today Cruz told NBC’s Casey Hunt that he would define amnesty as “forgiving the lawbreaking of those who come here illegally,” and he singled out a “path to citizenship.” Hunt tried to ask Cruz if a path to legalization is amnesty, and Cruz refused to answer. You can view the exchange in the clip below:
Cruz might be trying to leave open the idea that a path to legalization is not amnesty for a few reasons. Should he be elected, Cruz would find swift opposition to trying to deport the estimated 11 million undocumented people in the country. Additionally, Cubans receive a special path to legalization (and ultimately citizenship) under the Cuban Adjustment Act. Cruz might be counting on Cuban American support in the race for the White House.
Photo credit: Screen shot from In Iowa, Senator Cruz Dodges 4 Times On Question Of What Constitutes Amnesty