Who's telling the truth on Cruz, Rubio and 'amnesty?'

David Drucker goes back to the tape and looks at what Ted Cruz was saying about legalizing illegal immigrants back in 2013, the subject of debate this week between the Texas senator and Marco Rubio.

What he finds is that not only did Cruz express sympathy for work permits without a path to citizenship, but he also wanted to "expand high-tech workers, which the tech industry so desperately needs" and "expand agricultural workers, which the farming and ranching community so desperately needs."

This comports with my own take:

Cruz always opposed Rubio's bill as written and played an important role in its defeat. He clearly understood the importance of the path to citizenship to its Democratic supporters and knew they would never accept his compromise offer of green cards with no right to naturalization. He hoped to expose supporters' commitment to citizenship. But his contemporaneous statements make plain that this middle ground was his actual substantive policy preference and not solely a ploy to sink the Gang of Eight.

Cruz has always been to Rubio's right on immigration and was never a supporter of Gang of Eight in any meaningful sense. His amendment heightened the contradictions within the coalition behind the Gang's bill. There was significant daylight between Cruz and Rubio on this issue even in 2013.

And yet Cruz has also clearly moved to the right on immigration since then. He was for increasing H-1B visas, now he's for a six-month moratorium on the program. He was for increasing legal immigration, now he'd freeze current levels in place until the American employment picture improves. He once defined amnesty as a path to citizenship, now he more understands it as legalization more broadly.

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