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Sen. Cruz to Sec. Vilsack: Democrats Focus on Amnesty for Illegal Immigrants While Ignoring the Suffering Caused by the Border Crisis

Questions Agriculture Secretary on the use of illegal aliens as workers during the Biden-Harris border crisis

July 21, 2021

WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, today questioned Secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture Tom Vilsack on why the Biden-Harris administration and Senate Democrats are focusing on amnesty for illegal immigrant workers as they allow the humanitarian, national security, and public health crises on our southern border to worsen. Excerpts of his line of questioning are below.

WATCH: Sen. Cruz: Focus Should Be On Addressing Failed Policies That Created Border Crisis, Not Amnesty

"The Biden border crisis keeps getting worse. Every day it is getting worse. In my home state of Texas on the southern border, we have seen over a half million illegal crossings this year. We are on pace to have over two million people cross the border illegally, and this is the direct result of decisions made by Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. Three decisions made in the opening week of this administration caused this crisis. Number one, the first week in office, Joe Biden immediately halted construction of the border wall. Number two, he reinstated the failed policy of catch and release. And number three, most indefensibly, he ended the incredibly successful ‘Remain in Mexico' international agreement. ‘Remain in Mexico' was an agreement President Trump negotiated with the government of Mexico that said that those people who cross into Mexico illegally would remain in Mexico while their asylum cases are pending in the United States, and it worked tremendously. Last year, we had the lowest rate of illegal immigration in 45 years. This year, we have the highest rate of illegal immigration in over 20 years. The people of Texas - I'm hearing from people all across Texas, go to South Texas, talk to mayors and by the way, talk to Democratic mayors on the border that are dealing with hundreds of thousands of people coming across. Talk to farmers and ranchers who are dealing with coyotes crossing their land on a daily basis trafficking people, trafficking drugs. Talk to landowners, like one rancher I know who had his ranch house broken into, and MS-13 spray painted on the walls. And the answer from the Biden administration is they don't care.

"Mr. Chairman, it is painful to say the answer from the Democratic Judiciary Committee. The Democratic Judiciary Committee doesn't give a damn. We're not having a hearing about the crisis on the southern border. This is not the first hearing we've had on amnesty. This is not the second hearing. This is the third hearing we've had on amnesty in six months. These hearings are part of the problem. You know what? All across the world people are hearing Senate Democrats saying ‘We're in the business of amnesty.' Little boys and little girls are getting physically assaulted by drug traffickers and human traffickers. They're being sexually assaulted by drug traffickers and human traffickers. When I led a group of 19 senators down to the border, we saw an eleven-year-old girl who had been raped by the traffickers coming across. On the Rio Grande River, we saw the body of a man who had drowned crossing the river. And the answer tragically from the Democrat Judiciary Committee is they don't give a damn. We spent four years listening to Democrats run to TV cameras talking about kids in cages. There are more cages and they are more full today. Joe Biden is running the cages that are packed with kids.

"At the Donna tent facility, built for a thousand people, with COVID restrictions its capacity is 250 people. When we were down there, there were over 4,200 people in that facility, 1,700 percent its capacity. The Biden cages - child after child packed in there. Little boys, little girls, not six feet apart as you would want in the pandemic, not three feet apart. They weren't even three inches apart. They're next to each other. They're sleeping on the floor. No beds, no mats, no cots, wrapped in reflective emergency blankets. The time we were there the rate of COVID positivity was over 10 percent. And the Biden administration is releasing illegal aliens into our community who are COVID positive. It is irresponsible. It is wrong, and every Democrat who said to a TV camera ‘kids in cages, kids in cages,' Mr. Chairman, why doesn't this committee have a hearing on the Biden cages? Instead we have a hearing with the Secretary of Agriculture. Mr. Secretary, if we were having a hearing on the optimum fertilizer for growing corn, I think you might be a very good witness. Does the Department of Agriculture secure the border?"

[...]

"What's changed is this administration refuses to enforce the law and Texas is paying the price for it. What shaped your other answer was the pandemic. Mr. Secretary, last year, there was a pandemic, and we had the lowest rate of illegal immigration in 45 years. Poverty didn't magically appear on January of 2021. The pandemic didn't appear on January 2021. What appeared was Joe Biden and Kamala Harris and policies that are inhumane, that are cruel, and that are failing."

[...]

"This is a crisis. This administration caused it. And this committee doesn't even care to have a hearing on the suffering that is happening at the border that is caused by policies that don't work."

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