Ted Cruz is riding to the rescue of the President Trump and the Republican Party with a plan to extricate the GOP from the public relations bloodbath that it is experiencing from Trump Administration policies that result in immigrant children being separated from their parents.
Sen. Cruz (R-Texas) plans to introduce “emergency legislation” to resolve what he calls a situation that has “horrified” Americans. The senator plans to introduce the Protect Kids and Parents Act this week.
“All Americans are rightly horrified by the images we are seeing on the news, children in tears pulled away from their mothers and fathers,” Crus said on his website. “This must stop. Now. We can end this crisis by passing the legislation I am introducing this week.”
The Cruz plan contains four main points:
· Double the number of immigration judges from 375 to 750
· Authorize new family shelters
· Mandate that families be kept together unless there is “aggravated criminal conduct or threat of harm to the children”
· Expedite asylum cases so that a decision will be made within 14 days
“Repeatedly, I have visited detention facilities tragically housing young children,” Cruz said. “For far too long, children have been the greatest victims of our broken immigration system, with tens of thousands of children who were detained under the Obama Administration and continuing through today, and with far too many of those children facing horrific physical or sexual assault from criminal human traffickers.”
Cruz continued, “The answer is not what congressional Democrats are proposing: simply releasing illegal aliens and returning to the failed policy of ‘catch and release.’ Rather, we should fix the backlog in immigration cases, remove the legal barriers to swift processing, and resolve asylum cases on an expedited basis.”
In a speech before the National Federation of Independent Businesses, President Trump appeared to fire back at Cruz’s proposal saying, “Ultimately, we have to have a real border, not judges.”
On Twitter, Trump doubled down on the zero-tolerance policy of arresting all illegal border crossers. “We must always arrest people coming into our Country illegally,” the president tweeted.
As with many of the president’s policies, the separation of immigrant families is very unpopular except among Republicans. Overall, two-thirds of Americans oppose the policy in a new CNN poll while only 28 percent approve. Numbers are reversed for Republicans, the only group to approve, with 58 percent in favor and 35 percent against. Ominously for the midterms, independents oppose the president’s policy by more than two-to-one.
Among congressional Republicans, there seems to be widespread support for ending the separation of families. Several other congressmen are also working on proposals to fix the problem.
“We can fix this,” Cruz said. “If my Democratic colleagues will join me, not play politics but work to solve the problem, we can start to end family separation this week. And, we can honor the rule of law.”
[Photo credit: Gage Skidmore/Flickr]