January 10, 2016

In the Ted Cruz campaign bus, Jake Tapper asked the Junior Texas Senator about his plans for the deportation of undocumented immigrants. The Joe McCarthy look-a-like went on about how the border isn't secure and the Obama Administration releases criminal aliens willy nilly to the peril of the American people.

Tapper pressed Cruz for the solution for the people who are already here, living in the shadows. He tried to get a direct answer to the question, does Cruz plans to send people door to door to find these illegal residents? Cruz evaded the question for a while. Finally he told Tapper that there is no legal remedy that knocks on the doors of every American, even to find murderers. He believes that Border Patrol and Immigration and Customs Enforcement are sufficient to handle these matters, it's just that our president doesn't prioritize the matter enough. He was now ready to go into a tried and true routine of fear-mongering.

CRUZ: In 2013 do you know how many illegal (pronounced ee-legal) aliens the Obama Administration released? It was over 104,000. 196 with homicide convictions, murderers. Roughly 400 with sexual assault convictions, rapists. Those numbers should be zero. Over 16,000 with drunk driving convictions.


CRUZ: So, we enforce the laws, but, but this notion, and listen, you know the media game you're playing. You wanna conjure up,

TAPPER: Well, I'm really just...Donald Trump has been very specific. Trump has been specific. There are 11 to 12 million at least, undocumented, and he says he's going to have a force go and grab them and deport them.

CRUZ: We have law enforcement authorities that enforce our laws, your question, you keep saying are they going to knock on every door. No, I don't intend to send jackboots to knock on your door and every door in America. That's not how we enforce the law in America, for any crime.

Politifact, hardly a liberal entity rated this claim half true, which is generous considering he omitted much of the context of these numbers.

ICE says 169 individuals with murder convictions were released and 72 percent of those releases were mandatory—out of its control. Also, 68,000 of the people Cruz described as released were never actually detained by the agency.

In addition, this statement is missing vital context. Just as we said in reviewing Smith’s declaration, it’s simplistic to suggest the administration has full decision-making authority. Court decisions and federal laws play important roles.

I suppose it's not really terribly shocking that Cruz would contort numbers to suit his purposes. He's a politician and a Republican. It's expected.

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