Cruz: Obama holding the border 'hostage'

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) said President Obama is holding border security “hostage” in exchange for amnesty.

“We should welcome a debate over how to secure our borders and reform the legal immigration system. That’s not a debate, however, that President Obama and his supporters are willing to have,” Cruz wrote in an op-ed for Texas Tribune. “Instead, they are devoted to amnesty — and they’re holding the safety and security of our nation hostage to get it.”

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Cruz blamed the recent influx of migrant children being detained along the U.S.-Mexico border on Obama’s immigration policies, including his decision to defer the deportation of children brought illegally to the United States by their parents before 2007, also known as “Dreamers.”

“I'm unwilling to follow the president's course of spending billions on social services but maintaining the amnesty that will in perpetuity cause thousands more children to be victimized,” Cruz wrote. “I am opposed to the president’s immigration policy because I believe immigrants deserve better.”

Cruz is considered a potential GOP presidential candidate for 2016.

Under Obama’s previous deferred deportation order, the nearly 60,000 children from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras who have crossed the border this year would not qualify to stay in the United States. Cruz said if Obama granted these children “amnesty” it would just encourage more to make the dangerous journey.

“If amnesty is granted to those who come as children, many more children will come,” Cruz wrote. “We cannot solve this crisis without ending the amnesty.”

Cruz called on the Senate to pass House legislation that would prohibit the administration from issuing additional executive orders on immigration and would deport the “Dreamers.” But Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said there aren’t the votes in the Senate for those measures to pass.

“The solutions are really quite simple: Secure the border, end the amnesty and implement a system that celebrates legal immigration,” Cruz wrote. “If, that is, Democrats would let us.”

Democrats on the other hand, have called on House Republicans to allow a vote on a bipartisan comprehensive immigration reform bill that easily passed out of the Senate last year, but House leadership has refused to allow a vote on the bill.