WASHINGTON –Ted Cruz said Monday night that he would use federal immigration officers to round up and deport all 12 million people in the country illegally — a markedly tougher stance than he has struck in the past.
“Yes, we should deport them,” Cruz told Fox host Bill O’Reilly. “That’s what ICE exists for. We have law enforcement that looks for people who are violating the laws, that apprehends them and deports them.”
The toughening stance comes after a disappointing, if narrow, third-place finish in South Carolina on Saturday, with immigration hard-liner Donald Trump strengthening his grip on the race.
“There’s no change here,” Cruz spokeswoman Catherine Frazier said late Monday by email. “Cruz has been very clear: People who are here illegally should be deported. That is the law today. Period. They broke the law, they face the consequence. ICE exists for that purpose and they should continue to do their job. And on top of that, any law enforcement that encounters those here illegally should follow the law and deport them.”
Ted Cruz only talks tough on immigration now because he did so badly in S.C. He is in favor of amnesty and weak on illegal immigration. — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 23, 2016