U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz's Newest Crusade: Abolish DACA Program And Deport All DREAMers

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U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) filed a bill Thursday with the intention of ending the highly successful Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy initiated under President Obama. Doing so would result in the deportation of all young undocumented residents (known as DREAMers) under the program. According to Cruz and his fellow GOP colleagues, DACA and President Obama are responsible for creating the refugee crisis we have in our hands.

“We all recognize the terrible humanitarian crisis that is occurring at the border, and all of us should come together to end the policies that have caused it,” said Cruz in a statement. “Tens of thousands of children are being smuggled into the United States by dangerous drug cartels and transnational gangs; it is heartless to allow that to continue.”

Republican logic explained: Let's use this humanitarian crisis as an excuse to target young undocumented residents, and use them as political scapegoats to rile up conservatives — all meanwhile fixing absolutely nothing.

More below the jump.“The president's policies that allow people who come here illegally to stay is what is creating a magnet for this crisis, and the problem can't be solved until those policies are stopped,” said Cruz's spokeswoman, Catherine Frazier. “This should be a prerequisite for any legislation that is considered by the Senate on this issue.”

So, what is Cruz's newest “top priority” and solution? The senator wants to immediately abolish DACA. The measure he introduced Thursday would essentially defund the program. Cruz is proposing this measure despite the fact that refugee children arriving to our borders don't even qualify under the program. Those whom would face deportation as a consequence of terminating the policy would only be certain young undocumented residents brought to the U.S. as children before 2007.

Cruz is using the humanitarian crisis as an excuse to target and deport DREAMers. Much like with the Affordable Healthcare Act, Cruz is eyeing an opportunity to take advantage of the current crisis at hand and rile up angry conservatives behind him. Can he honestly be any more narcissistic?

Cruz has introduced his own bill as a more radical alternative to a different– but equally horrific– bill introduced by Texas' senior senator, John Cornyn, and supposed Democrat Congressman Henry Cuellar (Laredo). Cornyn's and Cuellar's bill would accelerate procedures to deport the refugee children back to their home countries; and their likely deaths. (It is important to also note here that this isn't the first time Cuellar has stood against Democrats' opposition to deportations).

United We Dream, the nation's largest immigrant youth-led organization, are accusing Cruz of being “morally bankrupt” and “politically senseless.”

Below their statement regarding Cruz's newest crusade:

Morally Bankrupt and Politically Senseless: Sen. Cruz Agrees to End DACA and Deport Dreamers

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) and his Republican Party have made it official – their preferred response to the child refugee crisis of Central American kids along our border is to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and deport Dreamers.

DACA is a popular program that has provided over 600,000 young Dreamers new chances to pursue work, education, and other opportunities to give back to the country they call home.  Despite these demonstrated successes and despite DACA eligibility being limited to those of us who arrived in the U.S. prior to 2007, Republicans like Senator Cruz are now trying to blame Central American child refugees fleeing violent conditions in 2014 on the DACA program.

Yesterday, he made clear that ending DACA was his “top priority,” while supposed moderate Republican Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) gave a closed-door presentation to Republican colleagues making the case that DACA was responsible for the child refugee situation.  Additionally, Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) said there would have been no child refugee crisis if he was President, noting “it wouldn't have happened because I never would've signed an executive action granting deferred action to those who were in this country illegally.”  These latest developments join House Republicans' ongoing efforts to end DACA, including a June 2013 vote in favor of an amendment from Rep. Steve King (R-IA) to end the program and subject Dreamers to deportation.

The following is a statement from Lorella Praeli, Director of Advocacy & Policy for United We Dream:

“Senator Ted Cruz and his Republican Party are morally bankrupt and politically senseless if they think the right answer to crisis of child refugees fleeing violence in Central America is to end DACA and deport Dreamers.  

“Despite hearing for the past two years that the Republican Party wants to improve its relationship with the immigrant community, if the question touches on 'immigration,' the default Republican answer remains 'more deportation.'  Now, fresh off blocking any reform to fix broken immigration laws, the GOP is seeking to blame DACA and gut the one notable immigration success story of recent decades.

“It's clear, but not surprising, that the GOP wants to turn its back on our country's best traditions of being a land of opportunity for those in need of refugee protections – while not eligible for DACA, the child refugees from Central America deserve legal representation and due process, as well as a legitimate hearing regarding their eligibility for refugee and asylum protections.  But it's also clear that Republicans are now united in wanting to deport not only these kids, but also to use this child refugee crisis as a pretext to end protections for Dreamers and deport us.

“United We Dream will be in Washington D.C. next week, fighting back against the GOP's reprehensible attacks on Dreamers and DACA.

“Our families and our communities will not soon forget this latest betrayal.”

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About Author

Omar Araiza

Staff writer Omar Araiza covers immigration, Latino voters, the U.S.-Mexico border, and LGBT issues. Omar is a proud South Texas native, born and raised in the lower Rio Grande Valley. He tweets from @AraizaTX.

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