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

Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzViral video shows O’Rourke air-drumming to the Who’s ‘Baba O’Riley’ after Cruz debate Five takeaways from Cruz, O'Rourke's fiery first debate NY Times, McCabe give Trump perfect cover to fire Rosenstein, Sessions MORE (R-Tex.) claimed Thursday that President TrumpDonald John TrumpSunday shows preview: Trump sells U.N. reorganizing and Kavanaugh allegations dominate Ex-Trump staffer out at CNN amid “false and defamatory accusations” Democrats opposed to Pelosi lack challenger to topple her 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 ObamaThe Hill's 12:30 Report — Trump questions Kavanaugh accuser's account | Accuser may testify Thursday | Midterm blame game begins Dems look to Gillum, Abrams for pathway to victory in tough states Ford taps Obama, Clinton alum to navigate Senate hearing 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 McConnellDoug Jones to McConnell: Don't 'plow right through' with Kavanaugh Kavanaugh accuser agrees to testify next week GOP, Kavanaugh accuser struggle to reach deal 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 PelosiDemocrats opposed to Pelosi lack challenger to topple her Sinema, Fitzpatrick call for long-term extension of Violence Against Women Act Internal RNC poll shows Pelosi is more popular than Trump: report MORE will impeach President Trump.”