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Sen. Cruz on the Senate Floor: ‘Joe Biden has Repeatedly Encouraged This Crisis of Illegal Immigration’

Slams the administration for the border crisis, urges opening ports of entry for lawful border entry

WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) today delivered remarks on the Senate floor criticizing President Biden for refusing to open ports of entry for lawful border entry while allowing illegal immigration to reach its worst point in 20 years. Read excerpts of Sen. Cruz's remarks below.

WATCH: Sen. Cruz: Biden Has Repeatedly Encouraged Border Crisis

"We've got a border crisis that has been raging so intensely that we're on pace to see two million illegal immigrants come through our unsecured border this year. Just last month, 180,034 illegal immigrants crossed the border. To put that in perspective, that number is a 674% increase over the number of illegal immigrants that crossed the border last May. A 674% increase. That number is a 21-year high. The reason for this is simple: The crisis that has unfolded is the direct result of political decisions made by Joe Biden and Kamala Harris.

"Number one, the first week in office, President Biden immediately halted construction of the border wall. Number two, that same week, President Biden reinstated the failed catch-and-release policy. And, number three, more inexplicably, the Biden administration ended the ‘Remain in Mexico' international agreement, a historic agreement negotiated by president trump with the government of Mexico, whereby the government of Mexico agreed that those who crossed illegally into Mexico would remain in Mexico while their asylum proceedings were pending in the United States. That agreement was a tremendous success. It produced last year the lowest rate of illegal immigration in 45 years. Let me repeat that. Just six months ago, our country had achieved the lowest rate of illegal immigration in 45 years.

"Joe Biden and Kamala Harris came into office, they rip to pieces the international agreement that produced that success, and today we have the highest rate of illegal immigration in 20 years. Meanwhile, as the crisis rages, Joe Biden is nowhere to be found, and Kamala Harris is nowhere to be found. In five months in office, Joe Biden couldn't be bothered to go down to the border and see the humanitarian disaster his policies have created. Vice President Harris, who was in charge of the border, seems determined to go anywhere she can but the border.

"In the 84 days since she's been tasked with handling the border crisis, do you know how many press conferences she's given? Not even one. Not a single press conference in 84 days. She can't be honest about what's causing the crisis, so she hides from questions. The one time she saw questions was with NBC's Lester Holt, where he asked her about going to the border. She responded with that now characteristic and, quite honestly, creepy laugh, where she said we've been to the border. I'm not sure who the royal ‘we' was, but that doesn't include President Biden, that doesn't include Vice President Harris, and to NBC's credit, Lester Holt asked a follow-up question, and it was a simple question, ‘You haven't been to the border?' To which she responded oddly, well, I haven't been to Europe either. Mr. President, we're not facing a humanitarian crisis, a border crisis, a public health crisis [...] in Europe. We're facing it on our southern border, we're facing in Texas, and the Vice President can't seem to be bothered and can't face the failures that President Biden's policies are causing.

"I want to tell you about one thing that greatly affects border communities, and that is our land ports of entry. While Joe Biden has repeatedly encouraged this crisis of illegal immigration, he is at the same time preventing lawful border crossing. Border communities are suffering immensely because ports of entry in Laredo and Rio Grande city in McAllen and Pharr and Brownsville remain closed to everyone except those deemed essential traffic. Basically, Mexicans who have a visa to enter the United States legally cannot do so through the land ports of entry unless they are going to school, working, or somehow considered essential.

"Nonessential travel to the United States for shopping, for visiting family and friends, for casual visits, are not allowed by the Biden administration. Instead, the Biden administration has decided to keep our land port of entries closed for nonessential travel until at least June 21, ostensibly because of the Covid-19 pandemic. This decision makes no sense when Americans have access now to effective vaccines, and the Biden administration is just fine with allowing hundreds of thousands of illegal aliens to stream across the border and be released into our communities despite being positive at a Covid positivity rate of 10%.

"The Biden administration has no problem with that, and they perpetuate the policies that continue that disaster and yet, at the same time, they shut down trade and legal tourism through our land ports of entry. For a long time, I've summed up my immigration views very simply in four words: Legal - good, illegal - bad. I think the overwhelming majority of Americans agree with that proposition and yet, as we look at the first five months of the Biden-Harris administration, it seems for President Biden and Vice President Harris, their immigration policy is legal - bad, illegal - good. That makes no sense. It's exactly backward.

"We should open up our land ports of entry to legal tourism, which would greatly benefit the border communities, especially in my home state of Texas. We need to end this heartless inhumane policy that is resulting in tens of thousands of children being trafficked in by human traffickers, which is resulting in thousands of children being physically abused and sexually abused, being thrown into the Biden cages packed in larger and larger numbers. Ignoring this problem won't make it go away. Behaving like an ostrich - Joe Biden and Kamala can't plunge their heads into the sand and hope this will disappear. They don't want to go to the border because they know that TV cameras will follow them to the border, and their only hope is that people don't notice the crime that is coming in, the vandalism that is coming in, the public health threat that we're seeing. This is not compassionate. It's not humane. This chaos is wrong, and it's time to end."