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NOLAN FINLEY

Finley: Cruz says Biden border neglect is intentional

Nolan Finley
The Detroit News

Mackinac Island — Texas Sen. Ted Cruz disputes the claim that America's border with Mexico is out of control.

"The border is 100% under operational control — on the southern side," Cruz said during an interview at the Grand Hotel, where he was a keynoter at the Michigan Republican Leadership Conference this weekend.

"The cartels have complete control of the border. If you’re in Mexico, you cannot cross the border unless you pay the cartels thousands of dollars, and if you try it they’ll kill you."

The Mexican cartels, Cruz said, created the Haitian refugee surge that overwhelmed the border at Del Rio, Texas week. The images of Haitian migrants thronging across the Rio Grande River as if they were strolling into a football stadium, and filling a tent city that at one point totaled 15,000 people, were shocking.

Ted Cruz

That is, for everybody but President Joe Biden, who has shown little urgency or interest in the crisis, except to demonize stressed out border agents who have been handed the impossible task of turning back the horde.

"On Sept. 8, you had about 700 people," Cruz said of the Del Rio crossings. "By Sept. 16 they had 10,503, and a couple of days later it had become more than 15,000.

"A significant percentage of them had been living in Mexico and were granted asylum in Mexico. But they heard from their friends and family, 'Hey, if you go to Del Rio, you can stay in America. They came and came immediately."

The administration's lack of a policy to halt undocumented migrants from entering the country is intentional, Cruz said.

"I think Joe Biden and Kamala Harris made promises to the radical left of their party, and the radical left demands full-on open borders," Cruz said. "And I think Biden and Harris promised they wouldn’t enforce the border. The reason neither Biden nor Harris have been to the Rio Grande Valley is if they had gone they would have to go to the Biden cages.

"There are thousands and thousands of little boys and girls packed on top of each other in cages. A couple of weeks ago when I was down there, the rate of COVID positivity was 22% in the Biden cages, and much of the media refuses to cover it."

Those are the same cages that so horrified the left during the Trump years. Cruz said if the president or vice president were to go to the border, they couldn't deny what they saw, or the impact the flood of migrants is having no Americans who live along the border.

Border residents, he said, are arming themselves — and even their teenaged children. He described ranchers afraid to travel their ranches and homeowners who wake up to migrants sleeping in their yards and charging their cell phones on their back porches.

"There are so many human traffickers and drug traffickers crossing their property over and over again that they can’t go in their backyard," Cruz said. 

Sitting on a balcony with a view of the northern border, Cruz predicts immigration will be a motivating issue for border-state voters.

"In the roundtables in south Texas most of the elected officials I met with are Democrats," he said. "South Texas has been heavily Democratic for 100 years. Almost to a person, the elected Democrats were so horrified by what they were seeing that they said, 'Look, if my party, the Democratic Party, is a party of open borders, I can’t be a part of that anymore.'"

And if the crisis continues to go unaddressed by Biden, it will also drive the vote in the rest of the country.

"It will impact 2022 significantly," he said. "I believe 2022 is going to be a wave election, an election like 2010. And I think because of the chaos at the southern border, a lot of folks, a lot of of suburban moms, who voted Democrat, will say they were not voting for open borders and absolute chaos at the southern border."

Twitter: @NolanFinleyDN

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