Sens. Ted CruzTed CruzThe Hill's 12:30 Report Overnight Defense: Senators go to White House for North Korea briefing | Admiral takes 'hit' for aircraft carrier mixup | Lawmakers urged to beef up US missile defense Senators get North Korea briefing in unusual WH visit MORE (R-Texas) and Dick DurbinDick DurbinSenators warn of 'dangerous' cuts to International Affairs Budget Lawmakers push one-week stopgap funding bill Rob Thomas: Anti-Trump celebs have become 'white noise' MORE (D-Ill.) sparred over their differing ideas of immigration reform on Wednesday.
Cruz called on the Senate to take up a House-passed bill to stop President Obama from deferring more deportations of illegal immigrants, asking for unanimous consent to pass the measure, but Democrats objected.
Cruz has blamed the influx of immigrant children flooding the U.S.-Mexico border on Obama’s deferred action program that allows Dreamers — children brought illegally to the United States by their parents before 2007 — to stay in the United States through worker and student visas.
“You cannot solve the crisis at the border without ending the promise of amnesty,” Cruz said on the Senate floor. “They are coming because they believe they will get amnesty.”
The thousands of children from Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala being detained today would not be eligible for the president's deferred action program, known as DACA. But some are seeking refugee status because of the massive killings and gang violence in their home countries.
The House legislation would prohibit Obama from deferring any other deportations, but Durbin said there are another 2 million Dreamers eligible for the visas that haven’t applied.
“You’re saying to them ‘you’ve got to leave,’ ” Durbin said. “Now you’re glorying in the possibility of deporting these children.”