Republican presidential candidate Ted CruzTed CruzSenate GOP to huddle Wednesday on ObamaCare repeal strategy Cruz, Lee, Paul demand 'full repeal' of ObamaCare Dem senator: Confirm Gorsuch, Garland simultaneously MORE is taking a tougher position on illegal immigration, saying he would deport the estimated 12 million immigrants who are in the U.S. illegally.
"Listen, we should enforce the law. How do we enforce the law? Yes, we should deport them," the Texas senator told Fox News's Bill O'Reilly on Monday.
"We should build a wall, we should triple the border patrol," Cruz added, emphasizing that "federal law requires that anyone here illegally that's apprehended should be deported."
"That's what ICE exists for," Cruz added during another exchange. "We have law enforcement that looks for people who are violating the law, that apprehends them and deports them."
O'Reilly brought up a hypothetical example of an Irish immigrant with kids who had settled in Long Island, N.Y. — O'Reilly's home.
"And you, President Cruz, are going to send the feds to his house, take him out and put him on a plane back to Ireland?" the host asked.
"You better believe it," Cruz responded.
Cruz's position was less harsh last month, when he was asked about rival Donald TrumpDonald TrumpTrump email misstates FEC deadline in plea for donations Trump hostility has Arab business, political leaders on edge California Dem boycotting Trump's address to Congress MORE's plan to deploy a task force going "door-to-door" to deport those in the country illegally.
A Cruz spokesperson insisted to The Dallas Morning News that there was "no change" in Cruz's position, saying that "Cruz has been very clear: people who are here illegally should be deported. That is the law today. Period."
Cruz finished a disappointing third in Saturday's South Carolina primary.