Cruz discusses with Agriculture Secretary Vilsack on the amnesty bill and calls his answers “fertilizers”

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Senator Ted Cruz, R-Texas, had a heated exchange on Wednesday with Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack over the southern border crisis and efforts to pass a farm reform bill that includes an amnesty for illegal immigrant workers, the senator calling Vilsack’s responses “fertilizer.”

Vilsack was appearing at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on the role of immigrant farm workers, and was one of many speakers and lawmakers who spoke positively about the Farm Workforce Modernization Act, which was passed by the House and includes a path to citizenship for agricultural workers in the country illegally.

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This is one of many legislative efforts by Democrats to impose amnesty on various groups of illegal immigrants, particularly in the aftermath of the pandemic, where Democrats say America was relying on immigrant workers from first line – many of whom are here illegally.

“Farm workers not only deserve a path to legal status, they are vital to our economic future,” said Senator Dick Durbin, D-Ill.,.

Republicans have largely opposed such efforts, arguing not only against the effort but also in the context of the southern border crisis.

Cruz objected to Vilsack’s testimony that root causes like poverty, food shortages and the COVID-19 pandemic are fueling the influx of migrants to the border – and that the key to solving it was to promote better opportunities in Central America.

“With all due respect, your answers about immigration were fake, they were absurd,” said Cruz.

“There are 7 billion people on planet Earth many of whom were poor and you know what, they were poor last year and we had the lowest immigration rate in 45 years, they are poor this year What has changed is that this administration refuses to enforce the law and Texas pays the price, ”he said.

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“Poverty did not magically appear in January 2021, and the pandemic did not magically appear in January 2021, what appeared were Joe Biden and Kamala Harris and inhumane, cruel and failing policies.” , did he declare. .

Vilsack responded by asking Cruz if the border was secure in 2020, to which Cruz said it was the most secure in years.

“If so, why didn’t you all pass the Modernization Act last year after it was passed by the House?” Vilsack asked. “You tell me we have to secure the border before you take this act.

Cruz responded by noting that he was not one of the few Republicans to have been in favor of legislation providing pathways to citizenship in the past.

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“Be clear, I am not [Sen.] Lindsay Graham. I do not support this bill, ”said Cruz. “I understand there have been Democrats and Republicans who support amnesty – I’m not one of them. So I understand you want amnesty, I understand your invitation is “Come to America, forget about the legal processes that everybody else [follows] and get amnesty. ‘”

“I want a workforce that will continue to support the world’s largest agriculture and food industry,” replied Vilsack.

Earlier, Vilsack was also grilled by Graham, RS.C., who said in past immigration reform efforts clear border security measures were taken before legalizing anyone in the country.

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Graham told Vilsack that “if you give someone legal status without first securing the border, you’re going to have a border leak 10 times worse” than the current crisis.

“You don’t grant amnesty and hope people don’t keep coming, you secure the border and then you provide legal status,” he said. “We do it backwards.”

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