“Sen. Ted Cruz, please accept these 7,600 petitions where we’re asking for a path to citizenship.”
A few hundred people gathered at a small park at Smith and Clay streets, holding up signs and chanting slogans like, “Cruz, escucha. Estamos en la lucha,” – “Cruz, listen, we are in the battle.”
The group then marched down Smith Street to the Mickey Leland Federal Building, where Sen. Cruz’s Houston office is located. Outside, they handed a Cruz staff member a box of petitions asking the senator to support a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants.
Elsa Caballero is with the Service Employees International Union, one of the organizers of the rally. She says that the momentum is building for comprehensive immigration reform, including a path to citizenship. But she’s concerned that Cruz, son of a Cuban immigrant, is not supporting it.
“Especially when you think of him as the son of an immigrant who benefitted from being able to come to this country and giving the opportunity, right, to kind of build on the American Dream. We want that same thing for 11 million people and we want him to support that.”
She says immigrants from Cuba don’t have to worry about the issue of illegal immigration because they benefit from a policy that allows them to stay once they are in the country.
In an email, a spokesperson for Cruz says the senator “has deep concerns with a path to citizenship component,” but that he “is for immigration reform and will passionately fight for reforms that secure the border and fix our legal immigration system.”
In a recent interview with Fox News’s Sean Hannity, Cruz said granting undocumented immigrants citizenship or even a green card is not fair to those who go through the proper immigration process.
“It means you’re a chump for having stayed in your own country and followed the rules because you were not able to live here and raise your family and enjoy the tremendous blessing of liberty in the United States simply because you followed the rules.”
Immigration reform rallies were organized in several cities at the same time, including Washington, D.C.; San Francisco and Atlanta.