Tag Archives: Legalization

Ted Cruz fought Rubio’s amnesty in 2013 and fought Obama’s executive amnesty in 2014

Ted Cruz and Mike Lee go to war against amnesty
Ted Cruz and Mike Lee go to war against amnesty

Let’s do the 2013 Rubio amnesty first.

The leftist Washington Post reports on how Cruz tried to stop the Rubio amnesty by introducing amendments that would undermine support for the bill, or weaken the bill if it did get passed.

Excerpt:

Cruz has been a staunch opponent of giving a pathway to citizenship for immigrants who entered the United States illegally. In 2013, Cruz introduced five amendments:

  • Cruz 1: To triple the number of Border Patrol agents and quadrupling the equipment along the border.
  • Cruz 2: To deny means-tested government benefits to those who entered illegally.
  • Cruz 3: To strip away the pathway to citizenship.
  • Cruz 4: To expand legal immigration, by increasing employment-based immigration from 140,000 to 1,012,500 per year.
  • Cruz 5: To raise the H-1B high-skilled worker cap from 65,000 visas to 325,000 per year.

Note that “legalizing” someone can mean just giving them a temporary work permit, so that they are in the country legally, but have no permanent right to stay, much less get citizenship. The thing is, it’s not even clear that Cruz would have voted for the bill with his amendments. His goal was to derail the bill by embedding things in it that the supporters did not want. Like the “no path to citizenship” that Rubio wanted. And this is exactly how Democrats saw his amendments.

Here’s what happened:

When pressed about his 2013 statements and the citizenship amendment after the GOP debate, Cruz said: “It’s called calling their bluff.”

And in a Dec. 16, 2015, interview with Bret Baier on Fox News: “You’ve been around Washington long enough. You know how to defeat bad legislation, which is what that amendment did, is it revealed the hypocrisy of Chuck Schumer [D-N.Y.] and the Senate Democrats and the establishment Republicans who were supporting them because they all voted against it.”

[…]Current and former Democratic Senate staffers familiar with the negotiations confirmed to The Fact Checker that Cruz’s bill was, indeed, viewed as a poison pill in 2013. Consider the impact some of his amendments would have had on the fragile agreements the coalition negotiated:

  • Tripling Border Patrol agents: The Senate ultimately approved an amendment to double the number of Border Patrol agents. But tripling the number would’ve gone too far and lost the support of some immigration groups, which believed an even bigger increase would be badly received by border communities and the public.
  • Expanding legal immigration: Such a dramatic increase in employment-based immigration and H-1B visas went far beyond the coalition’s negotiated cap at 65,000. As The Washington Post’s Paul Kane reported, Democrats, Republicans and their allies in the labor movement and corporate America worked for months to agree on this number, which was backed by the AFL-CIO and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. A slight increase or decrease would have jeopardized support from either the AFL-CIO or the Chamber of Commerce; Cruz’s proposal was a 400 percent increase from the negotiated cap.
  • Removing pathway to citizenship: This was the major negotiation point for the Gang of Eight, and would have killed the bill.

In reference to the citizenship amendment, then-Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick J. Leahy (D-Vt.) said during the 2013 hearing: “My concern with this, I feel it would virtually gut the bill … and gut what has been a very careful balance by Republicans and Democrats and the sponsors of it.”

Sen. Charles E. Schumer, a Gang of Eight Democrat, echoed the concern at the hearing: “If we do not have a path to citizenship, there is no reform, many of us feel. That is a bottom line here.” The Gang of Eight Republicans on the Judiciary Committee sided with Democrats in rejecting this amendment.

In a statement to The Fact Checker, Schumer confirmed Cruz’s bill was viewed as a poison pill: “This was an attempt to kill the bill, and there was no doubt at the time that Senator Cruz knew it would do exactly that.”

This is what Marco Rubio is getting angry with Cruz about in the debates. Cruz introduced 5 amendments meant to destroy the agreement among supporters of the bill. And the bill died. Rubio actually voted against Cruz’s amendment that would have taken citizenship off the table. He also opposed poison pill amendments by amnesty opponents Mike Lee and Jeff Sessions.

Conservative Mark Levin recently interviewed Jeff Sessions about Ted Cruz’s role in the battle over amnesty, and you can read about it here on the Daily Wire.

The second amnesty battle

Rubio’s amnesty was defeated in 2013, but there was another amnesty to come in 2014. This time, from the pen of Barack Obama.

The Blaze reports:

On Saturday night, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) won a battle, but not the war, against President Barack Obama’s executive action on immigration.

Cruz led the fight to force a Senate vote on Obama’s immigration plans, as a condition of approving a massive, $1.1 trillion spending bill for 2015. He was able to make that vote happen by arguing that the spending bill violated the Constitution because it would fund Obama’s plan — a plan Cruz and other Republicans say is illegal because it rewrites immigration law without any input from Congress.

“Tonight is the first opportunity that Congress has to express its disapproval,” Cruz said late Saturday of Obama’s immigration plan.

Cruz lost the vote, as expected in a Senate that is still controlled by Democrats for a few more weeks. But Cruz’s tactics — which forced the Senate to work unexpectedly late into Saturday night — also drew criticism from Republicans, and several GOP senators vote against Cruz.

In the final vote, the Senate decided 22-74 against Cruz — less than half of the Senate’s 45 Republicans voted with Cruz.

[…]Cruz raised his constitutional argument against the bill on Friday night, a move that surprised both Republicans and Democrats and forced the Senate back into the office for a rare Saturday session. After several hours of negotiating, Democrats finally agreed to give Cruz his vote.

The vote itself was a victory — many Republicans have been begging for either the House or Senate to go on the record about Obama’s unilateral immigration decision.

This is why Cruz has few friends in the Senate. It’s not because he is a mean person, it’s because he fights hard for what is right. And few stand with him.

Cruz keeps telling the truth, and people keep calling him a liar for citing their actual words and actions:

It’s important to understand that on Washington, most of the politicians in both parties want amnesty. And that’s why they hate Cruz so much. It’s not his personality, it’s his conservatism.

Should we legalize drugs and prostitution like Ron Paul wants?

The UK Telegraph explains how Ron Paul’s policies have been tried and they have failed.

Excerpt:

Amsterdam authorities say they are to halve the number of brothels and marijuana shops in the city’s “red light” district and surrounding area

The city announced plans to clean up the area a year ago and since then 109 sex “windows”, from which prostitutes attract customers, have been closed. The new measures aim to reduce the number of windows to 243 from 482 last year, a city spokesman said.

Amsterdam also wants to close half of the 76 cannabis shops in the city centre.

“Money laundering, extortion and human trafficking are things you do not see on the surface but they are hurting people and the city. We want to fight this,” deputy mayor of Amsterdam Lodewijk Asscher told Reuters.

“We can still have sex and drugs but in a way that shows the city is in control.”

Prostitution was legalised in the Netherlands in 2000 and its soft drug policy, one of the most liberal in Europe, allows the sale of marijuana and possession of less than 5 grams (0.18 oz).

But Amsterdam’s toughening line is part of a wider trend in Holland.

Two Dutch cities near the Belgian border want to close all their cannabis shops to combat drug tourism and crime.

The 800-year-old red light district needs to diversify and showcase the city’s history, Mr Asscher said.

“This is a nice, old part of town. We can attract different groups of tourists. You should be able to have a beer at the old church square, watch fashion, and visit Chinatown,” he added.

The Family Research Council explains how Ron Paul’s drug policies don’t actually work as advertised anywhere they’ve been tried.

Excerpt:

Legalizers believe most black market and organized syndicate involvement in the drug business would die and that drug-induced crime would decrease with drug legalization. But these assertions are not supported by the facts. The United States experimented with legalization and it failed. From 1919 to 1922, government-sponsored clinics handed out free drugs to addicts in hopes of controlling their behavior. The effort failed. Society’s revulsion against drugs, combined with enforcement, successfully eradicated the menace at that time.[32]

California decriminalized marijuana in 1976, and, within the first six months, arrests for driving under the influence of drugs rose 46 percent for adults and 71.4 percent for juveniles.[33] Decriminalizing marijuana in Alaska and Oregon in the 1970s resulted in the doubling of use.[34] Patrick Murphy, a court-appointed lawyer for 31,000 abused and neglected children in Chicago, says that more than 80 percent of the cases of physical and sexual abuse of children now involve drugs. There is no evidence that legalizing drugs will reduce these crimes, and there is evidence that suggests it would worsen the problem.[35]

Legalization would decrease drug distribution crime because most of those activities would become lawful. But would legalization necessarily reduce other drug-related crime like robbery, rape, and assault? Presumably legalization would reduce the cost of drugs and thus addicts might commit fewer crimes to pay for their habits. But less expensive drugs might also feed their habit better, and more drugs means more side effects like paranoia, irritability and violence. Suggestions that crime can somehow be eliminated by redefining it are spurious. Free drugs or legalizing bad drugs would not make criminal addicts into productive citizens. Dr. Mitchell S. Rosenthal, expert on drugs and adolescents and president of Phoenix House, a resident treatment center in New York, said, “If you give somebody free drugs you don’t turn him into a responsible employee, husband, or father.”[36] The Justice Department reports that most inmates (77.4 percent male and 83.6 percent female) have a drug history and the majority were under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of their current offense. And a surprisingly large number of convicted felons admit their crime motive was to get money for drugs. For example, 12 percent of all violent offenses and 24.4 percent of all property offenses were drug-money motivated.[37]

[…]The extent to which individuals commit “drug-related crimes only” is overstated. Most incarcerated “drug”offenders violated other laws as well. Princeton University professor John Dilulio found that only 2 percent — i.e., 700 — of those in federal prisons were convicted of pure drug possession. They generally committed other and violent crimes to earn a sentence.[40]

However, 70 percent of current inmates were on illegal drugs when arrested and, if drugs become cheaper, violent crime could reasonably be expected to increase.[41]

And more:

History provides evidence that legalization of drugs in foreign nations has not been successful. For example, opium was legalized in China earlier this century. That decision resulted in 90 million addicts and it took a half-century to repair the damage.[59]

Egypt allowed unrestricted trade of cocaine and heroin in the 1920s. An epidemic of addiction resulted. Even in Iran and Thailand, countries where drugs are readily available, the prevalence of addiction continues to soar.[60]

Modern-day Netherlands is often cited as a country which has successfully legalized drugs. Marijuana is sold over the counter and police seldom arrest cocaine and heroin users. But official tolerance has led to significant increases in addiction. Amsterdam’s officials blame the significant rise in crime on the liberal drug policy. The city’s 7,000 addicts are blamed for 80 percent of all property crime and Amsterdam’s rate of burglary is now twice that of Newark, New Jersey.[61] Drug problems have forced the city to increase the size of the police force and the city fathers are now rethinking the drug policy.[62]

Dr. K. F. Gunning, president of the Dutch National Committee on Drug Prevention, cites some revealing statistics about drug abuse and crime. Cannabis use among students increased 250 percent from 1984 to 1992. During the same period, shootings rose 40 percent, car thefts increased 62 percent, and hold-ups rose 69 percent.[63]

Sweden legalized doctor prescriptions of amphetamines in 1965. During the first year of legalization, the number of intravenous”speed” addicts rose 88.5 percent. A study of men arrested during the legalization period showed a high correlation between intravenous use and a variety of crimes.[64]

Dr. Nils Bejorot, director of the Swedish Carnegie Institute and professor of social medicine at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, believes the solution to the growing drug problem is consistent social and legal harassment of both users and dealers.[65]

Great Britain experimented with controlled distribution of heroin between 1959 and 1968. According to the British Medical Journal, the number of heroin addicts doubled every sixteen months and the increase in addicts was accompanied by an increase in criminal activity as well.[66] And British authorities found that heroin addicts have a very good chance of dying prematurely. On the crime front, Scotland Yard had to increase its narcotics squad 100 percent to combat the crime caused by the “legal” addicts.[67]

The Swiss opened a “legalized drug” area in Zurich seven years ago and local addicts were given drugs, clean needles, and emergency medical care. Unfortunately, the liberal policy backfired and the number of addicts surged to 3,500; violence surged, too. “Needle Park,” as it came to be known, was a place of open warfare among rival gangs, and even police faced gunfire. Their cars were attacked and overturned. In February 1995, officials ended the experiment, conceding that it had evolved into a grotesque spectacle.[68]

Why does legalizing drugs increase crime? Because drugs are addictive and they cost money to obtain. Addiction reduces the ability to hold down a job, which is a legal way of getting money. Therefore, addicts will resort to crime in order to get the money to buy their drugs, since their addiction impairs their ability to hold down a job.

Here is an article that takes a look at Ron Paul’s views on social policy and one that looks at Ron Paul’s views on foreign policy.