WASHINGTON, Feb. 23 (UPI) -- Republican presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz emphasized in an interview he would, as president, encourage law enforcement officials to look for undocumented immigrants to deport.
The Texas senator told Fox News' Bill O'Reilly on Monday he would support federal agents actively searching for undocumented immigrants. When pressed with a scenario O'Reilly offered of a hypothetical man who "overstays his visa, and he's got a couple of kids," and whether, in a Cruz presidency, the man would be visited by federal agents to "take him out and put him back on a plane," Cruz responded, "You better believe it."
Cruz's response is similar to that of GOP candidate Donald Trump, who has called for a "deportation force" searching for immigration violations. His comments Monday, though, were counter to ones he made in January.
"I don't intend to send jackboots to knock on your door and every door in America," Cruz said then. "That's not how we enforce the law for any crime."
His comments Monday are the first suggestion Cruz favors active searches for undocumented immigrants. He has previously suggested any apprehended undocumented immigrant should be deported.
"I believe we should enforce the law," Cruz told NBC News in early January "The law requires that anybody here illegally who is apprehended should be deported. That's what we need to do."