Cruz: Trump’s immigration plan is more liberal than Obama’s DACA

Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzSenate left in limbo by Trump tweets, House delays The Hill's Morning Report — Sponsored by PhRMA — Immigration drama grips Washington Senate Gang of Four to meet next week on immigration MORE (R-Tex.) claimed Thursday that President TrumpDonald John TrumpGOP lawmakers preparing to vote on bill allowing migrant children to be detained longer than 20 days: report Wasserman Schultz: Infants separated from their parents are in Florida immigrant shelters Ex-White House ethics chief: Sarah Sanders tweet violates ethics laws MORE’s immigration proposal is more liberal than former President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

Lawmakers are debating this week on several immigration proposals, including one that mirrors Trump’s proposed framework, which would provide a pathway to citizenship for an estimated 1.8 million undocumented immigrations in exchange for heightened border security, funding for a border wall and limits on legal immigration.

“That is dramatically to the left of where Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaTrump's tariffs are a case of crony capitalism Obama to visit Kenya, South Africa for Obama Foundation in July Overnight Energy: EPA declines to write new rule for toxic spills | Senate blocks move to stop Obama water rule | EPA bought 'tactical' pants and polos MORE was,” Cruz said on “Fox & Friends." “DACA covered 690,000 people, why on earth are Republicans trying to more than double, nearly triple that?”

“Because it’s a more accurate number,” co-host Brian Kilmeade said, speaking over Cruz.

“Tell that to the steel workers, tell that to the truck drivers,” the senator replied.

While in office, Obama created DACA and sought to expand the program to the family members of people enrolled, but was blocked by the courts.

Obama also backed an immigration-reform bill in 2013 that was passed by the Senate that would have placed an estimated 8 million undocumented immigrants on a path to citizenship. That bill died in the House.

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Lawmakers on Thursday are struggling to pull together 60 votes to pass an immigration bill, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellMulvaney aims to cement CFPB legacy by ensuring successor's confirmation Senate left in limbo by Trump tweets, House delays Political figures pay tribute to Charles Krauthammer MORE (R-Ky.) has made it clear that he wants the Senate to move on from the topic after this week. 

Bipartisan groups of senators are working to rack up support for a plan that would protect 1.8 million undocumented immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children from deportation and provide funding for border security. But that plan would not address changes to legal immigration that Trump has pushed for.

Cruz called the proposal to provide a pathway to citizenship a “profound mistake.”

“We should not be granting citizenship to people here illegally,” he said. “I can tell you the American people don’t want amnesty.”

Multiple polls have found that a vast majority of Americans support some form of legal protection for DACA recipients.

Cruz also warned Republicans that if these proposals pass, the party is in danger of losing power in the 2018 midterm elections.

“Why would Republicans be galloping to the left of Barack Obama?” he said. “Mark my words, if Republican majorities in Congress pass citizenship for millions of people, an amnesty, I think it is quite likely we will lose both houses of Congress and Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy Patricia D'Alesandro PelosiTrump shifts on immigration: ‘We need Democrat votes' Trump rips Conor Lamb as '#LambTheSham' in endorsing his GOP opponent Mike Huckabee tweets gang picture he calls Pelosi’s ‘campaign committee’ MORE will impeach President Trump.”