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Sen. Cruz: It’s Time for Congress to Stop the Political Posturing And Solve the Border Crisis

Tours Rio Grande Valley Centralized Processing Center, receives immigration update by CBP Agents at southern border

July 1, 2019

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202-228-7561

MCALLEN, Texas – U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) today toured the Rio Grande Valley Centralized Processing Center, the largest immigration processing center in the United States, to see firsthand the escalating humanitarian and security crisis occurring at the Texas-Mexico border. Following the tour, Sen. Cruz received an operational briefing with RGV Sector Chief Patrol Agent Rodolfo Karisch and Deputy Chief Patrol Agent Austin Skero at the McAllen Border Patrol Station about the influx of illegal border crossings.

Later, Sen. Cruz traveled to “Rincon Village,” ground zero for undocumented border crossings located near Mission, Texas. There, he participated in a Border Safety Initiative event, which highlighted the RGV Sector Border Patrol’s efforts to save lives in the harsh terrain of the Rio Grande Valley. Following the event, Sen. Cruz addressed members of Texas and national press with RGV Sector Chief Patrol Agent Karisch. In his remarks, Sen. Cruz discussed the 144,000 people apprehended at the border in May, and discussed the need to close loopholes that incentivize illegal activity, leading to 30 percent of families that attempt to cross the border being fraudulent.

“Our policies--- the loopholes that Congress has put in place, is encouraging people to risk their lives and even more tragically, it’s putting children’s in harm’s way,” Sen. Cruz said. “Today, roughly 50 percent of the adult men crossing into the Rio Grande Sector have a child with them. The reason for that, the fault of that, is the U.S. Congress, because we have told the traffickers, human traffickers, we’ve told the drug traffickers, ‘if you bring a child, that child is essentially a get out of jail free card.’ It is an incentive from the United States Congress, ‘go and find a small child and take that arduous journey, risk that child’s life.’”

Sen. Cruz concluded his tour with an aerial overview of the Rio Grande Valley with CBP Air and Marine Operations.

Video of Sen. Cruz’s remarks at the Rio Grande Valley may be found here. A full transcript is below:

“Thank you, Chief. Let me first of all start by thanking all of the good men and women of border patrol and ICE, CBP who risk their lives. Y'all have an incredibly difficult job. It’s an incredibly important job and an awful lot of times, it’s a thankless job. And I want you to know on behalf of 28 million Texans, we’re saying thank you. We appreciate your standing up for this country. We are seeing an absolute humanitarian crisis on the southern border. This is unconscionable, what is happening. In the month of May, over 144,000 people were apprehended, a record breaking number. This is a crisis and unfortunately this is a man-made crisis.

“The responsibility for this crisis lies directly on the United States Congress, on loopholes that Congress has put in the law that are encouraging far too many people to make this arduous journey. Today, a group of reporters walked one mile in the blazing sun, with water, with medical assistance if we needed it. Now, imagine doing that if you were a four-year-old child. Imagine doing that if you were a woman eight months pregnant. Our policies, the loopholes that Congress has put in place, [are] encouraging people to risk their lives and even more tragically, it’s putting children in harm’s way. Earlier today, I visited the central processing center here in the valley. I visited the McAllen headquarters. One of the more disturbing figures that I heard from the chief is in 2014, not too many years ago, of the adult men crossing illegally into this country roughly one percent had a child with them.

“Today, roughly 50 percent of the adult men crossing into the Rio Grande sector have a child with them. The reason for that, the fault of that, is the U.S. Congress, because we have told the traffickers, human traffickers, we’ve told the drug traffickers, ‘If you bring a child, that child is essentially a get out of jail free card.’ It is an incentive from the United States Congress -- ‘Go and find a small child and take that arduous journey, risk that child’s life.’ And I’ll tell you, far too many of those children face physical abuse, they face sexual abuse, they face neglect; and a growing problem we are seeing is fraudulent family units. Groups that present as a family unit, that tell the border patrol that they are one happy family. There was recently a pilot program done in the Rio Grande Valley using rapid DNA to test family units that said they were family units, it found nearly 30 percent of those family units were fraudulent. In other words, the adults weren’t related to the kids. We are hearing more and more reports of horrific things like children being rented to those crossing illegally.

“You know, this is a political environment where a lot of politicians like to talk about their enormous compassion, their enormous virtue and let me tell you, nobody who is compassionate, nobody who is virtuous, nobody who gives a damn about human beings would want even a single day to perpetuate these loopholes and put more children in harm’s way. We ought to be angry, we ought to be angry at politicians that wash their hands of this problem. You know, every time I come down to the valley, every time I come down to the border, I try to visit with border patrol agents, and I try to visit with law enforcement, local leaders. What I am hearing in South Texas and all along the border is that this is a crisis that is overwhelming our ability to deal with it, it’s overwhelming our infrastructure, it’s overwhelming our healthcare system. It’s overwhelming.

“Just here in the Rio Grande Valley, Chief told me that on average, one woman a day they are taking to the hospital to deliver a baby. On average, one a day. Imagine, being eight, nine months pregnant, making that journey. I visited with too many south Texas ranchers and farmers that have found the bodies of people abandoned, children, pregnant women, abandoned to die. It is time to end this crisis and the only way we will end this crisis is for Congress to stop the political posturing and solve the problem, close the loopholes so that children are not subject to exploitation as they are right now.”

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