Ted Cruz’s thoughtful approach to immigration reform

The mainstream media, on behalf of the left, treats Ted Cruz as if he were a knee-jerk, obstructionist right-winger, devoid of subtlety and nuanced thinking — a nastier version of Sarah Palin, as the MSM portrayed her. But that’s not the Ted Cruz I see.

Sure, he is capable of serving up red meat, as any ambitious modern politician must, at times, do. But on the issues, he generally comes across to me as a constructive, flexible thinker.

Take immigration. As Byron York shows, Cruz isn’t just saying “no” to all far-reaching efforts at reform, as commentators on the left would have it. Instead, he proposed a series of amendments to the Gang of Eight legislation that, if adopted, would have provided for meaningful reform without abandoning respect for the rule of law.

Cruz’s amendments would have (1) eliminated the legalization-first, security-later structure of the Gang of Eight bill while still creating a way to legalize those now here illegally; (2) increased certain types of legal immigration; and (3) removed what might be called the moral hazard of rewarding those who came here illegally with citizenship and federal benefits.

One can debate the merits of each amendment and of a bill that included all of them. But it’s indisputable that Cruz’s amendments offer a serious counterproposal to the Gang of Eight’s bill. And for me, the counterproposal is hugely preferable to the bill.

This, I think, is a fair reflection of Cruz’s overall work in the Senate to date, with the exception of his support for Rand Paul’s silly filibuster.

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