McALLEN, Texas (Border Report) — Over a month after touring the South Texas border with Mexico, Republican U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz on Wednesday called the ongoing influx of immigration a man-made “disaster” and “deliberate” on the part of the Biden administration.
His comments came a day after U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials and Border Patrol agents released migrant apprehension rates for April that showed total encounters with migrants were up 3% to 178,622 from 173,348 in March. But the number of unaccompanied migrant children crossing from Mexico dipped 9% to 17,171, down from an all-time high of 18,960 apprehended in March, CBP reported.
Nevertheless, speaking Washington, D.C., Cruz said the situation is “unacceptable” and he predicted there could be 2 million migrants crossing the border this year if current rates continue.
“This is a dereliction of duty. It is deliberate,” Cruz said. “It is endangering the people of my home state of Texas and endangering people all across the country. It is unacceptable. It is inhumane. It is wrong.”
He called on President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris, who is Border Czar, to visit the Southwest border, and criticized Harris for visiting Canada saying “we don’t have a crisis of thousands of Canucks coming across.”
In referencing his late March trip to South Texas with 19 senators, including John Cornyn, the senior Texas senator, Cruz said “the Rio Grande Valley was by far the worst I’ve ever seen it.”
He described mass crossings — “one caravan after another” — and said the CBP’s migrant processing tent facility in Donna, Texas, had a 10% COVID positivity rate and said they witnessed children “not even 3 inches apart lying on the floor side by side. No beds. No mats. No cots. Packed in as tight as they can be.”
Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas again visited that controversial Donna facility last week and said the number of children in CBP custody had dramatically dropped to 334, down from 3,700 in early April.
Cruz said that at the time his group toured, there were 4,200 people “crammed into” the facility.
CBP Acting Commissioner Troy Miller on Tuesday admitted “CBP continues to see a large influx of illegal migration along the Southwest Border.” But he said the agency is working with other agencies and through Operation Sentinel, CBP “is committed to enhancing the security of the U.S. border and helping save the lives of vulnerable migrants.”
The multi-agency Operation Sentinel was announced two weeks ago and involves cutting off supplies, resources and travel abilities of transnational criminal organizations that smuggle thousands of migrants daily across the U.S. Southwest border, especially into rural areas of South Texas. It is a collaboration between DHS, CBP, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Department of Justice — including the FBI and Drug Enforcement Administration — and the U.S. State Department to target Mexican cartels involved in the human trafficking of migrants, including thousands of unaccompanied youth, mostly from Central America.
Mayorkas on Thursday is scheduled to testify before the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs regarding the number of unaccompanied migrant youth crossing the Southwest border. The committee includes Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, a Democrat from the border state of Arizona.