Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) chastised Democrats for pushing through a $1.9 trillion aid bill while rejecting his amendment to prevent money from going to illegal immigrants.
Cruz challenged Democrats to take up his amendment now that it is “clear” that assistance payments are going to illegal immigrants on the Senate floor on Thursday. Cruz also chastised Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) for accusing him of lying about aid payments during budget debates.
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“It is obvious and unmistakable that a significant number of illegal immigrants will receive checks, and are already receiving checks. “The Democratic senator misinformed all 100 members of this body that no illegal aliens would receive… stimulus checks,” Cruz said, referring to Durbin. “As a result, I’d like to give my colleagues the opportunity to adopt the amendment now, with the correct information, true information, and factual information.”
“It’s also worth noting that in these bitterly partisan times, it’s all too easy for Republicans to hurl insults at Democrats. It’s easy for Democrats to insult Republicans. “There is far too much of that,” he continued.
“I am not here to suggest that the senator from Illinois, a friend with whom I’ve served for nine years, the talented senator, did so knowingly and maliciously when he stood up and spoke on the Senate floor and said things that were completely false. I’d give the senator from Illinois the benefit of the doubt and assume he was mistaken rather than purposefully misstating facts.”
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“However, the facts have now become clear. In this body, we have a rule, Rule 19, that states that any senator who impugns the character or integrity of another senator will be reprimanded. I’m not going to seek shelter in that rule, though I think there’s a case to be made for it.”
Cruz remarked. “But I will say this: once the facts are clear, I hope my Illinois friend will show the same principle Newsweek did and apologize, saying he was wrong for calling me a liar on the Senate floor and then repeating it on Twitter.”
Sen. Ted Cruz: "It is clear and indisputable that a significant number of illegal immigrants will receive checks and are receiving checks right now." pic.twitter.com/t1LOwD0snq
— The Hill (@thehill) March 18, 2021
While discussing the $1.9 trillion spending bill, Cruz and Durbin had heated exchanges on and off the Senate floor. Cruz proposed an amendment that would prohibit people who overstayed their visas and were living in the United States illegally from receiving the $1,400 COVID stimulus checks. Cruz was accused by Durbin of spreading lies in order to “inflame people.”
According to Newsweek, millions of illegal immigrants will receive stimulus checks as part of the Democratic aid package. According to Newsweek, who fact-checked Cruz’s claim on stimulus checks, anyone with a social security number and paying taxes in the United States as a resident is eligible for a check.
“They are technically here illegally if they have overstayed their visa,” a US Customs and Border Protection spokeswoman told Newsweek. “Visitors who have not been granted an extension of status by USCIS [United States Citizenship and Immigration Services] are considered overstays and are subject to deportation under Section 237 of the Immigration and Nationality Act.”
“Cruz’s claim that millions of illegal immigrants would receive stimulus payments is true, given the number of people who have overstayed their visas over the years,” Newsweek continued. They are legally considered ‘illegal’ once they have overstayed their welcome.’