Now that the battle over the debt ceiling and funding the government is over, the White House is planning a major effort to get immigration reform approved by Congress this session. But Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) tells 1200 WOAI news the president's handling of the health care debate does not bode well for success with immigration.
"If the White House treats immigration the way it treated the fight for Obamacare, it is virtually certain it is not going to pass," Cruz said during a stop in San Antonio.
Cruz said in debating key issues like Immigration and Health Care, the White House chooses not to negotiate and instead takes a confrontational and very highly political approach.
"The Obama White House has not treated this as a problem to be solved," he said. "Instead they have treated it as a toll of partisan advantage."
Cruz, who is himself an immigrant, said there are 'broad areas of agreement' in Congress among Democrats and Republicans when it comes to what to do about immigration. He says there is a feeling that tougher border control measures are needed, and an agreement that the legal immigration system should be improved so America can 'celebrate the accomplishments' of those who have chosen to make their lives here.
But when it comes to amnesty, or granting legal status to people who are in the U.S. illegally, Cruz says it's a different story.
"In Obamacare, what the White House is, they wouldn't compromise, they wouldn't negotiate, they wanted to crush their opponents beneath their boot. That's not the way you actually solve the problem."
Cruz suggested that the White House and Senate Democrats, even though they are going out of their way to pander to undocumented immigrant groups, really doesn't want a bill to be passed.
"I think what they want is an issue to campaign on in 2014 and 2016," he said. "I hope that they stop treating this as a partisan football, and come together, so we can fix our broken immigration system."