Napolitano to Cruz on 844-page Immigration Bill: ‘Actually I Have Read the Bill’

April 23, 2013 - 4:41 PM
Ted Cruz

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) questioned Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano at a Senate Judiciary hearing on April 23, 2013. (CNSNews.com/Penny Starr)

(CNSNews.com) – Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) questioned Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano at a Senate Judiciary hearing about whether she had read the 844-page Immigration Modernization Act released on April 17 by the “Gang of Eight” – Republicans and Democrats who support the bill.

“My office received the text of this bill at 2:25 a.m. on Wednesday, April 17 – five days ago,” Cruz said at Tuesday’s hearing. “The bill is 844 pages long. It is dealing with a very complicated topic, and my first question is when did your office receive a copy of the bill as filed?”

“About 3 o’clock in the morning – I think that’s about right,” Napolitano said.

“In the five days since then – when you have obviously been heavily focused on matters such as the Boston bombing, and quite properly focused on matters such as that, have you had the time to read all 844 pages of the bill?” Cruz asked.

“Ah, actually, I have read the bill,” Napolitano said, adding that she was already familiar with some of it but did not say how that was the case.

Janet Napolitano

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano testified at a Senate Judiciary hearing on a proposed comprehensive immigration bill on April 23, 2013. (CNSNews.com/Penny Starr)

“I know many sections of the bill fairly well so I was able to skim those sections, but I have been able to review the bill,” Napolitano said. “Yes.”

“Well, okay then, that has been a busy weekend for you,” Cruz said.

“Yes, sir, very busy,” Napolitano said.

Cruz, a Tea Party favorite who is serving his first term, has said the portion of the bill that provides for a pathway to citizenship for the estimated 11 million people who are in the United illegally would hinder its passage.

“I think if instead the bill includes elements that are deeply divisive – and I would note that I don’t think there is any issue in this entire debate that is more divisive than a path to citizenship for those who are here illegally – in my view, any bill that insists upon that jeopardizes the likelihood of passing any immigration reform bill,” Cruz said at a committee hearing on the proposed legislation on Monday.