The Norman Transcript

Columns

October 28, 2013

Cruz crusades again

(Continued)

NORMAN —

Still, as an immigrant of sorts, and as the son of a Cuban immigrant to the U.S., you’d think Cruz would exhibit a more understanding of those who come to our country and the best policies to deal with them.

Instead, he has endorsed some of the most discredited schemes for stopping illegal immigration, such as the construction a massive physical wall at the nearly 2,000-mile long U.S.-Mexican border. Stretches of wall at the border have already cost $21 million per mile. (The debt! The debt!) Never mind that, for years, experts have pointed out that other measures, such air surveillance, would be far more cost effective. Especially if coupled with reforms that address the labor market needs that draw migrants here in the first place, namely aiding the legal migration of high- and low-skilled workers.

Cruz has denounced the executive branch for deferring the deportation of certain young people who were brought into the country illegally as children. He is against the Senate’s 13-year pathway to citizenship for the undocumented. As all of these people can never, and will never, be deported, we must conclude either that Cruz is delusional or that he is content with the status quo. Indeed, perhaps the status quo permits opportunists like him to pander to the worst instincts in American politics.

Of course, in that respect he is far from alone in the GOP.

Boehner is going to have his hands full keeping Cruz and his fellow tea partiers from upsetting the push for immigration reform. Look for more sterling displays of courage from Boehner in the fight ahead. He has already indicated that he doesn’t favor a massive bill like the Senate has proposed but desires a more piecemeal approach to reform instead.

Yet, outside of Washington, a consensus is growing for comprehensive reform. Previously antagonistic groups have aligned behind the idea of a massive overhaul to the nation’s immigration laws and procedures. That includes some influential conservative groups, such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

The U.S. immigration system is a notoriously convoluted and kludgy bureaucracy, and it badly needs reform. Oddly enough, there are some in U.S. government who are unconcerned with its problems, and their only interest in the issue is as a stage upon which to act out a morality play. One of these politicians is Ted Cruz, and, unfortunately, we might as well get ready for Act II of his drama.

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