Diary

I Was There - Ted Cruz Fought Marco Rubio's Amnesty Bill

Amnesty_Blue_Slip_Letter_Page_1
Congressman Stockman’s Letter to “Blue Slip” the “Gang of Eight” Amnesty Bill

In 2013, Senator Marco Rubio’s (R-FL) “Gang of Eight” instant amnesty bill, S. 744, passed in the Senate, and was destined to be passed by Speaker Boehner in the House by one of two possible schemes.

The Speaker was planning to conference a House border security bill with Rubio’s amnesty bill, and pack the conference with pro-amnesty Members. Alternatively, he might have simply scheduled a vote on the Senate bill to allow the Democrats to pass it with the aid of sell-out Republicans.

Either way, the path was being greased to hand President Obama his greatest victory since Obamacare. The difference with Obamacare was that all Republicans worked together and Obamacare was passed without a single Republican vote. For Rubio’s amnesty bill, he helped to turn 13 other Republicans to pass Obama’s top legislative priority.

In this presidential campaign, Rubio and others have attacked Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX), by claiming his amendments to Rubio’s amnesty bill were somehow in support of the bill.

This is a lie.

In fact, Cruz’s amendments were ‘poison pill’ amendments designed to kill it, and to reduce the effect of the bill if it indeed were passed with his amendments.

Here is just one example of Senator Cruz’s efforts to neutralize, take-over or kill the bill. It was a poison pill amendment, because it mandated construction of 700 miles of the border fence before illegals would be granted a legal status, which is exactly the opposite of what Rubio’s amnesty and open borders supporters intended.

S.Amdt.1320

(Purpose: To replace title I of the bill with specific border security 
   requirements, which shall be met before the Secretary of Homeland 
 Security may process applications for registered immigrant status or 
 blue card status and to avoid Department of Homeland Security budget 
                              reductions)

       On page 896, strike line 11 and all that follow through 
     page 942, line 17, and insert the following:

                        TITLE I--BORDER SECURITY

     SEC. 1101. BORDER SECURITY REQUIREMENTS.

       (a) In General.--During the 3-year period beginning on the 
     date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall--
       (1) triple the number of U.S. Border Patrol agents 
     stationed along the international border between the United 
     States and Mexico;
       (2) quadruple the equipment and other assets stationed 
     along such border, including cameras, sensors, drones, and 
     helicopters, to enable continuous monitoring of the border;
       (3) complete all of the fencing required under the Secure 
     Fence Act of 2006 (Public Law 109-367);...

Another of Cruz’s amendments would have allowed states to prohibit non-citizens from voting. Again, this was a poison pill, because a key Democrat election strategy is to register millions of illegals and green card holders as voters.

S.Amdt.1295

SA 1295. Mr. CRUZ (for himself and Mr. Vitter) submitted an amendment 
intended to be proposed by him to the bill S. 744, to provide for 
comprehensive immigration reform and for other purposes; which was 
ordered to lie on the table; as follows:

       On page 1626, between lines 12 and 13, insert the 
     following:

                Subtitle __--Protecting Voter Integrity

     SEC. 3901. STATES PERMITTED TO REQUIRE PROOF OF CITIZENSHIP 
                   FOR VOTER REGISTRATION.

       Section 6 of the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 
     (42 U.S.C. 1973gg-4) is amended by adding at the end the 
     following new subsection:
       ``(e) Proof of Citizenship.--Nothing in subsection (a) 
     shall be construed to preempt any State law requiring 
     evidence of citizenship in order to complete any requirement 
     to register to vote in elections for Federal office.''.

There are far more actions a skilled legislator can take to defeat a bill than merely voting against it on final passage, and conservatives applauded Senator Cruz’s precise efforts on many fronts to defeat the bill in the Senate.

Once the Rubio bill was destined for the House, Congressman Steve Stockman (R-TX) and I worked to kill the bill.  In fact, we worked with Senator Cruz and his staff, who were of great assistance. I developed the strategy and drafted the “blue slip” request letter to Chairman Camp, and Senator Cruz and his staff supported our efforts and assisted us greatly in the process. Had Cruz supported amnesty in any way, both the Senator and his staff would not have assisted us.

We succeeded in killing Rubio’s bill because it violated the Origination Clause in the Constitution–it contained taxes, fines and fees, and Senator Rubio should have known better than to help write and push an unconstitutional bill.

You can trust that Ted Cruz is 100% against amnesty, and that he worked to kill, not pass Marco Rubio’s bill.

I know, because I was there.


Art Harman was Congressman Steve Stockman’s Legislative Director in the 113th Congress, and was his advisor on border security and amnesty.