In this Dec. 17, 2013 file photo, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas speaks with reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) is hoping fellow Republican House leaders take heed and not push for immigration reform measures this year with mid-term elections so closely at hand.
But that's not what's happening.
Republicans, along with leadership, are meeting at a three day retreat along Maryland's eastern shore Thursday, and the top piece of business is immigration. Republican House Speaker John Boehner, from Ohio and Rep. Paul Ryan, of Wisconsin, among others, are trying to advance immigration legislation prior to heading into the midterm election campaign.
The senator said in a statement emailed to TheBlaze that "amnesty is wrong in any circumstance."
Republicans need to focus on winning against Obama's failed policies and not push for immigration legislation that is already presenting numerous legal obstacles and will demoralize voters, many of whom are opposed to amnesty, he added.
[sharequote align="center"]"The biggest thing we could do to mess that up would be if the House passed an amnesty bill..."[/sharequote]
"Right now, Republican leadership in both chambers is aggressively urging Members to stand down on virtually every front: on the continuing resolution, on the budget, on the farm bill, on the debt ceiling," Cruz said. "They may or may not be right, but their argument is that we should focus exclusively on Obamacare and on jobs. In that context, why on earth would the House dive into immigration right now? It makes no sense, unless you're Harry Reid. Republicans are poised for an historic election this fall--a conservative tidal wave much like 2010. The biggest thing we could do to mess that up would be if the House passed an amnesty bill--or any bill perceived as an amnesty bill--that demoralized voters going into November."
Republican leadership outlined in their immigration reform plan support for giving probationary legal status to most of the 11 million illegal immigrants, according to Rep. Ryan's interview on MSNBC Wednesday.
The proposal, say opponents, is that a probationary status will be difficult to revoke if someone illegal is working legally in the country and has a family.
Cruz said he recognizes that the current immigration system is broken. He said, however, Republicans should wait until next year, contending it would make more sense "so that we are negotiating a responsible solution with a Republican Senate majority rather than with Chuck Schumer."
"Anyone pushing an amnesty bill right now should go ahead and put a 'Harry Reid for Majority Leader' bumper sticker on their car, because that will be the likely effect if Republicans refuse to listen to the American people and foolishly change the subject from Obamacare to amnesty," he said.