Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, had a fiery exchange with Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on Wednesday over the crisis at the southern border and efforts to pass an agricultural reform bill that includes amnesty for illegal immigrant workers. The senator called out Vilsack’s answers. “Fertilizer.”
Vilsack was appearing on a Senate Judiciary Committee. the hearing on the role of immigrant farmworkers, and was one of several speakers and MPs who spoke positively on the Farm Workforce Modernization Act, which has been passed in the House and includes a path to citizenship for farmworkers in the country illegally is.
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It is one of several legislative attempts by Democrats to pass amnesty for various groups of illegal immigrants, especially in the wake of the pandemic, where Democrats say the US relied on immigrant front-line workers – many of whom are illegally here. are from.
“Farmer workers not only deserve a path to legal status, they are vital to our economic future,” said Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill.
Republicans have objected to such efforts not only against the effort but also in the context of the crisis on the southern border.
Cruz objected to Vilsack’s testimony that root causes such as poverty, food shortages and the COVID-19 pandemic were fueling an increase in migrants at the border – and the key to solving this was promoting better opportunities in Central America.
“With all due respect, your answers on immigration were fertilizer, they were rubbish,” Cruz said.
“There are 7 billion people on planet earth, many of whom were poor and you know they were poor last year and we had the lowest immigration rate in 45 years, they are poor this year, what has this administration changed by refusing to to enforce the law and Texas is paying the price.”
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“Poverty didn’t magically appear on January of 2021, and pandemic didn’t magically appear on January of 2021, what appeared was Joe Biden and Kamala Harris and policies that are inhumane, which are cruel and that are failing. are,” he said.
Vilsack responded by asking Cruz if the border was safe in 2020, to which Cruz said it was the safest in years.
“If that’s the case, why didn’t you all pass it after the Modernization Act was passed in the House last year?” Vilsack asked. “You are telling me that we have to secure the border before we can pass this act.”
Cruz responded by saying that he was not one of the few Republicans who in the past have been in favor of certain laws giving way to citizenship.
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“Let me be clear, I’m not [Sen.] Lindsey Graham. I don’t support this bill,” Cruz said. “I understand there have been Democrats and Republicans who support an apology — I’m not one of them. So I guess you’re sorry, I guess your invitation is ‘Come to America, forget the legal procedures that everyone else’ [follows] And get an apology.'”
“I want a workforce that continues to support the world’s largest agriculture and food industry,” Vilsack replied.
Prior to this, Vilsack was assigned Graham, R.C. who said that previous immigration reform efforts had explicit border security measures that came before anyone in the country was legalized.
Graham told Vilsack that “if you give legal status to one person without first securing the border, you’re going to run over the border 10 times worse than the current crisis”.
“You don’t give an apology and expect people not to come, you secure the border and then you grant legal status,” he said. “We’re doing it a– backwards.”