Ted Cruz: Barack Obama has been offering amnesty to illegal immigrants

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, speaks in New Orleans on May 31, 2014.
Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, speaks in New Orleans on May 31, 2014.

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, recently emerged from observing Central American children being held at Lackland Air Force Base and declared related border crossings were surging because of a protective offer from President Barack Obama.

Children from Central American countries and others have established a record flow across the Rio Grande, we recently found.

Accounts have varied on why more are coming than before. For instance, a June 16, 2014, National Journal news story quoted Leslie Velez, a senior protection officer at the U.N. High Commission for Refugees, as saying its 2014 interviews of 404 children revealed many were fleeing violence and crime in their home countries.

Cruz, addressing reporters a week before Obama asked Congress for more money and authority to make it easier to deport recent border crossers, said interviews of people who entered the U.S. illegally revealed 95 percent were coming because they were promised amnesty. We rated this Half True; the statistic was right, but notices given to unaccompanied children enabling them to stay in the country until their cases win review didn’t amount to amnesty.

After mentioning such expectations of amnesty, Cruz went on to say: "That’s the message that’s being heard. And the reason these children are coming in staggering numbers is because the president has been promising amnesty."

Wait: Has the Democratic president been promising amnesty?

False, we concluded, and it turns out a previous president’s affirmation of longstanding federal policy might be a pivotal factor in drawing children from far away. See the full fact check to the right.