Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
August 28, 2015

Ted Cruz Likens Immigration Bill to ‘Human Trafficking’

Immigration bill opponent Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, on Tuesday read a letter on the floor stating that the pending legislation is “nothing more than thinly disguised human trafficking” as part of his explanation on why his amendment that would restrict undocumented immigrants from the national health care law should pass.

Cruz was talking on the floor and reading a letter from a constituent about her small business and its workers — “many of those in [the] plant are legal immigrants from Vietnam.” The letter insinuated that supporters of the immigration bill want it to pass so those workers could be replaced by “Obamacare-exempted” ones, even though there are Republicans who support the bill who clearly do not support the president’s health care law.

From the Cruz speech that included the constituent note:

“They, too, came here the right way and endured much hardship to earn their citizen status. What am I to tell them? That their sacrifice is meaningless? That they just should have snuck in? That their citizenship has no value? That the joke is on them? Well, I would never exercise the option of replacing them with cheaper Obamacare-exempted workers. Would they not be justified in questioning the motives of and validity of a government which would even consider giving an employer that option? What has this nation come to? It is getting harder and harder to recognize America. A nation which once proudly held fast to the virtues of liberty and freedom is now seriously contemplating a law which amounts to nothing more than thinly disguised human trafficking.”

Of the many complaints about the bill that opponents could lodge, that it is a pathway for human trafficking — which is a real problem and illegal — is a new one.

UPDATE: Cruz’s office clarified that the speech on the floor was citing a letter and that he had not written the words himself. This post has been updated to reflect that change.

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  1. Nun Yerbizness

    June 26, 2013
    10:03 a.m.

    “many of those in [the] plant are legal immigrants from Vietnam.”

    an unfortunate comparison—legal immigrants from Viet Nam—whose legal status was created by a special status pushed by the then President of the US.

    “According to the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization services, only 650
    Vietnamese arrived from 1950 to 1974 (as immigrants, excluding those who
    came as students, diplomats or military trainees.) The Fall of Saigon on April 30, 1975—which ended the Vietnam War—prompted the first large-scale wave of immigration from Vietnam”…”President Gerald Ford and other officials strongly supported Vietnamese immigration and passed the Indochina Migration and Refugee Assistance Act
    in 1975, which allowed Vietnamese refugees to enter the United States
    under a special status. To prevent the refugees from forming ethnic
    enclaves and to minimize their impact on local communities, they were
    scattered all over the country. Within a few years, however, many had
    resettled in California and Texas.”

    from Wikipedia’s entry on “Vietnamese American” under ‘History’

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