Senator Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) questioned the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary over the ever growing number of unaccompanied children flooding into South Texas as a result of Obama’s immigration policies. DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee at the Capitol Wednesday morning.
Sen. Cruz laid out the enormity of the problem to Secretary Johnson by stating, “In 2011, there were roughly 7,000 unaccompanied minors who were apprehended. In 2012, that number rose to 14,000. In 2013, it rose to 24,000.”
In a statement obtained by Breitbart Texas, Cruz expounded, “In 2014, your agency is estimating it is going to be as high as 90,000. In 2015, the administration is estimating that it will rise all the way to 145,000.”
Cruz continued by blaming the crisis of these children and their deplorable circumstances directly on President Obama’s immigration policies. “Mr. Secretary, you testified to this committee the increase is a result of violence in Central America and there is surely violence in Central America, but if you look at the statistics…midway through 2012, was when Administration unilaterally granted amnesty to some 800,000 people who had been minors, with the so-called DACA [Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals] proceeding.”
“And,” he continued, “you can see sometime after that the numbers spike dramatically. Is it really your testimony that granting amnesty to some 800,000 people who came here illegally as children had no effect in causing a dramatic increase of children being handed over to international drug cartels to be smuggled in here illegally?”
Cruz told Johnson, it is important to look at what these numbers represent. “These numbers represent children,” Cruz firmly stated. “Little boys and little girls that their parents are handing over, not to some noble social workers who are trying to help them, they’re handing over to international global criminal cartels.”
“They put these kids, among other places, on top of fast moving freight trains,” Cruz continued. “These are criminals who sexually assault and physically assault and who sometime murder these children. These are little girls who are sometimes being sold into prostitution and sex slavery.”
Johnson responded, “First, DACA is not amnesty. It is deferred action. Second, DACA applies only to people who came into this country as children prior to June, 2007.” He went on to blame the problem on conditions of gang and cartel violence in Central America to which Cruz replied, “Mr. Secretary, with all respect, in my view that argument is a red herring.”
“That argument explains why we’ve seen an increase in Central American immigration for sure,” Cruz countered. “But it doesn’t explain the unaccompanied minors. In 2011, 15 percent of the unaccompanied minors were OTMs (Other than Mexicans). In 2014 that number’s grown to 37 percent.”
Following is a video of the full exchange between Cruz and Johnson:
Breitbart Texas’ Kristin Tate interviewed Senator Cruz over the weekend about what our nation needs to do to resolve this issue. He said, “There is overwhelming bipartisan support of a great many aspects of the immigration debate.”
“Number one, there is overwhelming bipartisan support outside of Washington that we need to finally, finally, finally secure our borders, enforce our laws, and stop the problem of illegal immigration,” the senator continued. “But that’s not going to happen as long as the president of the United States is ordering more border patrol officers not to enforce the law.”
“Secondly,” Cruz concluded, “I think there is substantial bipartisan agreement outside of Washington that we need to improve and streamline our legal immigration system. There is no stronger advocate of legal immigration in the U.S. Senate than I am. And in my view, we need to remain a nation that doesn’t only welcome–but celebrates–legal immigrants. Or as President Reagan called them, ‘Americans by choice.'”
During his exchange with Secretary Johnson, Cruz read a letter from one of his constituents:
I live on a Brooks County ranch with my wife, Linda. In 2012, 129 bodies of deceased illegal aliens were found in our County on private ranch land. Most of these bodies were found within 15 minutes of our front door in any given direction! We believe these bodies represent only 20-25% of the actual number of illegal immigrants dying in this area. . . . In one week of last July, I personally rescued 15 people (most were Central Americans) that were lost and close to dying from dehydration and heat exhaustion. . . . This same week I found a deceased person that had been laid across a dirt road in order to be found. He was a 31 year old man from El Salvador.
Sen. Cruz closed out his remarks to Secretary Johnson by saying:
It has been widely reported that President Obama, that the Administration is contemplating yet another amnesty, like DACA, like two years ago, just a couple of months before the upcoming election. And I will say to you and I will urge you to pass on to the President, that I think that will be a grave mistake. I think that will be contrary to rule of law, and I think granting yet another amnesty would result in those numbers going even higher, would result in even more little girls and little boys being subjected violence and horrific dangerous conditions. It would be a serious mistake for us to go down that road.
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Bob Price is a staff writer and a member of the original Breitbart Texas team. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX.