Cruz only senator to vote against moving to immigration debate
© Greg Nash

Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzFive takeaways from Cruz, O'Rourke's fiery first debate NY Times, McCabe give Trump perfect cover to fire Rosenstein, Sessions Live coverage: Cruz, O'Rourke clash in Texas debate MORE (R-Texas) was the only senator to oppose moving toward an immigration fight on the Senate floor. 

Senators voted 97-1 on ending debate over whether or not to take up the House-passed bill being used as a vehicle for the Senate's debate.

A spokeswoman for Cruz said the Texas Republican "believes it would be a serious mistake for Congress to pass legislation that grants a path to citizenship for those here illegally."

"Such a policy is inconsistent with the promises that he and Republicans have made to the voters, and is in fact further to the left of President Obama’s position," Catherine Frazier said. 

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The Texas Republican has frequently said he does not believe so-called Dreamers — immigrants brought into the country illegally as children — should be given a path to citizenship. 

The Senate is expected to officially start its immigration debate as soon as Tuesday, with senators from both parties expected to propose a wide array of proposals. 

Any amendment will need 60 votes to get attached to the unrelated House bill. The legislation will also have to overcome the threat of a final 60-vote filibuster. 

It's unclear what, if any, proposal will be able to pass the Senate, much less the more conservative House and White House. 

A group of GOP senators introduced the president's proposed framework as an amendment on Monday. 

The measure would give 1.8 million immigrants brought into the country illegally as children a path to citizenship in exchange for $25 billion for border security and changes to legal immigration. 

But it appears unlikely to get 60 votes, which would include the support of at least nine Democratic senators. 

Trump kicked the immigration fight to Congress last year when the administration announced it was ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which allows certain immigrants brought into the country illegally as children to work and go to school without fear of deportation. 

Updated at 10:21 p.m.