By Craig Andresen Right Side Patriots http://www.americanpbn.com/
As the battle between Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz heats up…amid the battle between the both of them and Donald Trump with Rubio’s side battle against Jeb Bush thrown in just for kicks…I have a suggestion and a little advice for both Cruz and Rubio.
Before I get to that, let’s take a little stock in both these candidates first and examine exactly what they’re sparring over.
Illegal aliens…immigration reform, amnesty, pathways and anything else associated with that issue. I don’t care what you want to call it but I’ll just shorten it down to IR (immigration reform) and proceed from there.
Let’s just get a few things straight here.
Neither Cruz nor Rubio wants any sort of blanket amnesty for illegal aliens. Neither of them. They both agree that we need to secure our border before anything ales is done. Both candidates agree that we must increase border patrols by increasing the number of border agents. Both men agree that we must engage the laws we currently have on the books and use those laws to the letter of those laws.
Both Cruz and Rubio, or Rubio and Cruz depending on which side of the fence you’re leaning against, believe that anyone who has entered our country illegally, or illegally over-stayed a visa and then committed a crime…must be deported.
Both candidates intend to put an end to sanctuary cities…both are in agreement on finishing the border wall…both stand for increasing deportations…both plan to implement the E-Verify system…both want to install electronic security systems along the border and the wall and both intend to work toward greater protection of American workers in the process.
There is a lot of agreement between the two once the campaign rhetoric gets stripped away and on those points of agreement…I am in agreement with them both.
Now then…Cruz says that he will repeal Obama’s unconstitutional amnesty executive order, known as DACA, on his first day in office.
Rubio says he will not repeal it on his first day in office but that DACA will eventually go away due to real immigration reform.
That’s a difference…day one compared to day somewhere down the line but even in that disagreement, both candidates see DACA as becoming null and void.
While I would like to see DACA vanish overnight, as Cruz claims it would should he win in November, I can also see Rubio’s point in that doing such would leave a good many people who were, for better or as I believe worse, in the wind and the first thing those illegals will do at that point, is head underground…back into the shadows where it will be virtually impossible to identify them.
If we can’t find them, if we can’t identify them…how exactly are we supposed to deal with them under existing or future laws?
Sometimes, the rapid response isn’t always the best response…not always, but sometimes.
That said…both Cruz and Rubio have records that seem to spin in different directions regarding pathways.
Rubio’s IR plan cites a study by former Congressional Budget Office Director Douglas Holtz-Eakin, who “found that if we modernized our immigration system from a family-based one to one focused on merit and productivity, we could grow the economy by almost a full percentage point in the near term and raise per capita growth by over $1,500.” Along those lines, Rubio suggests a modified worker visa program, complete with entry/exit tracking that would be offered to best and brightest who want to immigrate here and become Americans. Our nation, as Rubio says, and rightly so, innovation has always driven the American economy and may of our greatest innovators came here as immigrants.
Now that sounds pretty reasonable to me...”Making our legal immigration system a merit-based system that encourages innovators will have broad benefits for our economy.”
While frustration over the current immigration system, or the complete lack thereof, and the desire to simply slam the door with some giant, all inclusive measure is driving We the People during this election cycle, Rubio says that...”Having tried that approach, I know this to be true firsthand. The fear that such massive pieces of legislation include some clever loophole or unintended consequence makes it even harder to achieve. The only way we are going to be able to break this impasse and make progress on this issue is in a sequential and piecemeal way, with a series of bills that build upon one another until ultimately we have put in place the kind of immigration system our nation needs.”
What Rubio advocates, is a series of measures, each building upon the one before, while providing those who came here illegally with a pathway to…not citizenship but…legal status. That means, bring them in from the shadows, getting some tracking for them in place, institute a series of requirements including fines to be paid, back taxes to be paid and other criteria like learning to read, write and speak English before, after a number of years, perhaps up to ten years, they can apply for citizenship.
While we would all like an overnight fix, that’s just not always possible and Rubio offers what could well be a thoughtful and reasoned approach.
Now then…Ted Cruz’s approach…
Cruz intends to… “End the amnesty slush funds: Push for passage of the Immigration Slush Fund Elimination Act, end the perverse revenue incentives that undermine our national security, and see to it that the fees paid by legal immigrants go toward supporting legal immigration only, to improve and streamline such immigration.”
Cruz also stands for…”Ending catch-and-release: Return illegal immigrants who are caught at our borders and ports to their countries of origin.”
Cruz makes a point of…“Criminalizing visa overstays. It has been estimated that approximately 40 percent of the illegal immigrants currently in the United States originally came here legally, but are overstaying their visas. Although it is a federal misdemeanor to illegally enter the country, it is not currently a federal crime to overstay a visa.” That’s actually a very good point and I agree, overstaying one’s visa should be a crime.
From this point on, Cruz’s IR package echoes a lot of Rubio’s with a few notable extras like ending birthright citizenship, amending the H-1B visa program and eliminating other visa programs that are found not to serve the greater good of our nation. I have no problem with any of these provisions.
Okay…time for the brass tacks…
Yes, it’s true, Marco Rubio was part of the Gang of 8 and the bill produced by that gang was abysmal. What’s not getting any play in this argument at all is that Rubio’s position in the Gang of 8 was that A) the border had to be secured before anything else could be done and B) that rather than a giant omnibus IR reform bill, it needed to be handled a piece at a time, via several bills.
Also not getting any play is the fact that while Rubio did go out and promote the bill, he did so before the bill was finished and when it was a finished bill, he saw so many loopholes in it that the ilk of Obama would exploit, at the end of the day, Marco Rubio voted against the Gang of 8 bill.
Did Ted Cruz offer amendments to the Gang of 8 bill that sure sounded like amendments meant to provide amnesty of pathways to citizenship? Yes he did but he says he did so to highlight loopholes he saw in the bill and those loopholes were the same loopholes which caused Rubio to vote against the bill.
The realities here are startling similar…neither Cruz nor Rubio agreed with the Gang of 8 bill…both eventually sided against that bill, and neither voted for the Gang of 8 bill. They came to their conclusions in different ways, perhaps at different times and through differing means but, at the end of the day, these two combatants stood on the same side.
Now…the advice to both Cruz and Rubio…
As a fan of both NASCAR and Indy racing, I’ve seen far too many drivers take each other out in the opening laps because of petty battles while lesser drivers pass them by and go on to win the 500. Don’t be those drivers. Work together, use your vast areas of agreement to draft off one another and get yourselves into a position, in the last quarter of the big race to be running 1 and 2…and for the record, I don’t care which is leading or drafting at that point.
Put the petty squabbles aside for now, focus on running in the cleanest air possible and one by one, eliminate the rest of the competition until this truly becomes a two man race to the finish with the best two drivers showcasing their skills, rather than trading paint, and let We the People decide.
Right now, Cruz and Rubio…Rubio and Cruz, and banging each other up in the middle of the pack and while they do, Jeb, Carson, Kasich and hanging around as spoilers and Trump is loving every minute of it.
I encourage everyone who reads this article to do as I did, and go to the respective websites of both Cruz and Rubio to look at their IR plans and I believe you will discover what I discovered…that the best plan, the best overall plan lies somewhere between the two. Take the best from each candidate’s proposals and weave them together and if we start, as both Rubio and Cruz clearly state, with border security first…we will have a solid, conservative IR plan on the table in no time…whoever comes out on top.
The bottom line is this…Trump can’t beat either Hillary or Sanders but either Rubio or Cruz will, according to 12 of 13 nationwide polls and if these two team up now…it’ll be a two man race to the nomination and a victory in November.
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