Sen. Cruz: We Must Halt the Humanitarian Crisis on the Southwest Border Now
Sends letter to DHS Sec. Johnson
June 19, 2014
WASHINGTON, DC -- U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, today sent the following letter to Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson regarding the terrible situation Texas is facing because of the current administration’s failure to secure the border. In it, he urges Secretary Johnson to consider Attorney General Greg Abbott’s proposal that would enable the State of Texas to take decisive action to secure the southwest border and prohibit further endangering thousands of unaccompanied minors.
Additionally, yesterday, the Texas Governor, Lieutenant Governor and Speaker authorized the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) to fund and initiate law enforcement surge operations on the Texas-Mexico border, in response to this influx of unaccompanied minors.
View the letter here. The text is below.
Dear Secretary Johnson:
Each day, hundreds of unaccompanied children enter the United States after being handed to dangerous human smugglers. Along the way, those children are sometimes abused, sometimes sold into prostitution, sometimes recruited by drug cartels, and sometimes even killed. Those who make it are now being housed in United States military installations in Texas, California, and Oklahoma.
While we are obligated to keep those children safe, we are also obligated to stop more children from risking their own safety and being forced into such a terrible situation.
Without a doubt, the growing humanitarian crisis at our border is a direct consequence of the Obama Administration’s refusal to secure the border. Children are pushed into the hands of criminals because the Obama Administration has made it clear to the world that any child who arrives, regardless of whether they are granted formal legal status, will be permitted to stay in the United States.
The Obama Administration’s outright refusal to enforce the law is causing chaos for those of us who live and work in border states that must deal with the surge of immigrants who are illegally arriving each day. When last we spoke at the Senate Judiciary Committee in June, I was disappointed that you were unwilling to acknowledge how the Administration’s policies have contributed to the crisis.
For decades now, Congress has mandated that the federal government secure the border, and yet the number of persons arriving illegally in the United States has grown from around 8.5 million in 2000 to around 11.5 million today.
Increasingly alarming statistics demonstrate how our porous borders are leaving Americans vulnerable to crime and even terrorism.
As the Department of Homeland Security is aware, 1,918 individuals from special interest countries were apprehended on the southwest border between FY2006 and FY2011, and according to the Texas Department of Public Safety, six of the eight major Mexican drug cartels have command and control networks operating in the state.
We have seen the rise of drug cartels that make between $19 billion and $29 billion annually from U.S. drug sales, and one study has estimated that some 10,000 women from southern and central Mexico are trafficked to the northern border region annually to be sexually exploited.
Last year Border Patrol rescued 2,346 people in danger, encountered 461 assaults, and sifted the rubble of 445 senseless deaths.
I am writing to urge your full consideration of Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott’s letter of June 12, 2014, in which he proposed the State of Texas be empowered to take decisive action to secure the southwest border during the present crisis brought on by the arrival of roughly 50,000 unaccompanied minor children.
Preventing people from illegally immigrating to the United States should be the primary purpose of Customs and Border Protection. And, although this critical task is primarily a federal responsibility, Texas is prepared to take action to gain control of our borders.
Should it be determined that implementation of this proposal would require action by Congress, I stand ready and willing to do my part to protect our citizens and prevent any more children from falling into the hands of notorious human smugglers who often kidnap, rape, abuse, and murder them.
To that end, I request a prompt response detailing your thoughts on Attorney General Abbott’s proposal.
All the best,
United States Senator