Tuesday's Texas Republican runoff appears to ensure another major shift in next year's Senate toward immigration enforcement and protecting American workers from unfair foreign labor competition. Ted Cruz won an upset victory in part on immigration policy promises that would place him in sharp contrast to the retiring Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison.
NumbersUSA's "Immigration-Reduction Grade Cards" rank Sen. Hutchison's career voting record in the bottom 10% of all congressional Republicans.
But Cruz made pledges for vigorous enforcement against illegal immigration and for deep cuts in legal immigration that would place him at the very top of NumbersUSA's ratings. This transformation of the Texas Senate seat is virtually assured, as nearly all analysts expect the Republican will win in November.
This echoes the shift Indiana Republicans created earlier by defeating incumbent Sen. Richard Lugar who is rated by NumbersUSA as having the worst career immigration record of any Republican in the Senate. Both the Republican candidate who defeated Lugar and the Democratic nominee for that Senate seat have strong pro-enforcement records and platforms, guaranteeing that the Indiana Senate seat will be filled next year by a much greater protector of American workers when it comes to immigration policies.
Much of the reporting on Cruz's victory has focused on him as an outsider challenging the establishment. In no area is that as true as on the issue of immigration. Cruz's promises to put American workers of all ethnicities and backgrounds ahead of lobbyist demands for mass immigration sets him at odds with most statewide Republican leaders, including Sen. Hutchison and these three.
- Cruz defeated Lt. Gov.David Dewhurst who epitomized the typical Texas establishment's casual approach to immigration. While endorsing a mandatory workplace verification system that he never assisted while in office, Dewhurst has been less than enthusiastic when it comes to border security and interior enforcement. As Texas Senate President he was a roadblock to key enforcement legislation. And Dewhurst declined to support any reductions in the importation of a million new immigrants a year during this time of high unemployment.
- Texas Gov. Rick Perry went from front-runner to drop-out in the Republican presidential race after his similar lacklustre immigration record became known.
- And former Texas Gov. and U.S. President George Bush was a champion of rewards for illegal immigration as well as increases in the importation of immigrant workers.
Cruz signed a NumbersUSA survey saying he will be a different kind of Texas Republican.
Cruz promised to support several "attrition through enforcement" measures that would remove the jobs and benefits magnets from illegal immigration, while insisting on state and federal cooperation in enforcing laws already on the books. Even more significantly, he signaled to unemployed Americans that he opposes the continued importation of a million new immigrants each year to compete with them for U.S. jobs. He said he would support the elimination of chain migration, visa lottery and other categories of immigration that needlessly make it more difficult for the 20 million Americans who want a full-time job to find one in construction, manufacturing, service and other occupations.
ROY BECK is CEO & Founder of NumbersUSA