Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) started a grass-roots petition last week to pressure his fellow Senators to back away from the Gang of Eight’s bipartisan immigration bill.
Telling supporters the bill isn’t principled in its pitch to grant amnesty to more than 10 million illegal aliens living in the United States, Cruz said it’s “urgent” that constituents send a unified message to Congress that legal immigration has to be the cornerstone of any attempt to reform laws and policies that direct a foreign national down a path to U.S. citizenship.
“This is urgent. We must stop this Gang of 8 immigration bill, which would give amnesty to an estimated 11 million illegal immigrants with no guarantee of a secure border,” said Cruz in an email to his supporters, as reported by Breitbart. “The Senate debate is in the final stages and we need to send Washington a strong signal of the overwhelming grassroots opposition to this amnesty bill from Americans across the country…act now – without delay – to help us defeat amnesty and stand for legal immigration!”
The petition kicked off just a day after Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) introduced an amendment to the immigration plan that, if approved, will allow “stateless,” displaced people staying in the United States to apply for legal status if their native countries have been altered by natural disaster due to climate change.
Schatz said climate change is not an “abstract challenge” but an indisputable fact with a human toll the U.S. can help mitigate, by allowing its many foreign victims to seek legal status here (since, presumably, America is immune to the “climate change” that’s running everyone else to our shores):
The amendment I am proposing is quite simple. If enacted, the Secretary of Homeland Security, in consultation with the Secretary of State, may designate individuals or a group of individuals displaced permanently by climate change as stateless persons.
Again, let me be clear about what this amendment does. It simply recognizes that climate change, like war, is one of the most significant contributors to homelessness in the world. And like with states torn apart and made uninhabitable by war, we have an obligation not to deport people back to a country made uninhabitable by sea level rise and other extreme environmental changes that render these states desolate. It does not grant any individual or group of individuals outside the United States with any new status or avenue for seeking asylum in the United States.
The amendment may not seek to grant anyone a new status, but it does immeasurably swell the population of non-citizens who can claim a legal foothold in the United States. And it does so disingenuously, by sheltering the argument for seeking legal status under the incredibly divisive, controversial and very dubious aegis of climate change as an incontrovertible, immutable fact.
The proposed amendment also would require funding for a study to assess (or, more likely, assign) the impact of climate change on populations who migrate internally within the U.S.