New York Times
By Alan Rappeport
February 23, 2016
Senator Ted Cruz, with his campaign in turmoil and under pressure not to fall further behind Donald J. Trump, hardened his stance on illegal immigration on Monday, backing the idea that law enforcement should actively hunt down and deport millions of undocumented people.
“That’s what I.C.E. exists for,” Mr. Cruz said of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency in an interview on Fox News. “We have law enforcement that looks for people who are violating the laws, that apprehends them and deports them.”
The position signified a notable shift from Mr. Cruz, who said a month ago that he did not support such an aggressive approach.
“No, I don’t intend to send jackboots to knock on your door and every door in America,” Mr. Cruz told CNN in Iowa in January. “That’s not how we enforce the law for any crime.”
The Republican candidates have taken a stricter approach to immigration since Mr. Trump started his campaign last year, calling for the construction of a big wall along the border with Mexico and the removal of people who are in the United States illegally.
Mr. Trump even went as far as proposing a special “deportation force” for finding immigrants. Mr. Rubio, who once worked with Democrats on comprehensive immigration reform legislation reform, has backed away from that idea and now wants to focus on border security.
But now Mr. Cruz says that his rivals do not go far enough. In an interview with Bill O’Reilly of Fox News, he claimed that Mr. Trump and Mr. Rubio are weaker than he is on immigration because they would let people who were deported eventually return to the country legally.
“Both Donald Trump and Marco Rubio would allow those 12 million people to become U.S. citizens,” Mr. Cruz said, arguing that they should be rendered ineligible for having broken the law. “I will not.”
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