Sen. Cruz Presses Biden for Media Presence During Border Visit, Calls Denial ‘Outrageous and Hypocritical’

March 22, 2021 Updated: April 11, 2021

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) wrote a letter to President Joe Biden regarding the lack of ability for the press to “observe, film, and report” on the situation at the border.

He said that the restrictions equate to “hiding the truth from the American People.”

“That is why I’m calling on Biden to commit to allowing free and fair reporting on the crisis at the border,” Cruz wrote on Twitter.

“As part of our oversight duties as Senators, I and 14 of my colleagues will travel to the border this week to talk to the brave men and women on the ground who are working every today to stop this crisis and secure our border,” Cruz wrote in the letter.

He further found fault with the Biden administration for denying permission for press members to join Cruz and his entourage.

“But it is not enough for members of the Senate to see what is happening—the American people must see. That is why I requested that members of the media be allowed to join us. But your administration clearly and emphatically refused to offer press access. This is outrageous and hypocritical,” Cruz wrote.

The White House didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment from The Epoch Times.

Ted Cruz appeared last week on Newsmax with former White House press secretary Sean Spicer and heavily criticized the Biden administration over the border crisis.

Cruz plans to visit the border in Texas with his colleagues on March 26 to observe the disfavorable circumstances, which he says are a “direct result” of Biden administration directives.

“There are going to be a number of senators next week that fly down with us to visit the border. We’re seeing an absolute crisis unfold. It is a humanitarian crisis, it is a national security crisis, and it is a health crisis that are all unfolding, and it is the direct result of policy mistakes and decisions made by the Biden administration,” said Cruz.

“Joe Biden came in and one of the first things he did was halted all construction of the wall,” added the senator.

“He then reinstituted catch and release so that when we catch illegal immigrants, they now release them, say, ‘Hey, you got a court date sometime in the future? Hope you show up,’—a whole bunch of them don’t.”

Cruz then went on to talk about the problem with COVID-19 positivity among illegal immigrants.

Last week, the National Sheriff’s Association said that up to 50 percent of illegal immigrants are testing positive for COVID-19, the disease the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus causes.

“They’re releasing illegal immigrants in Harlingen, Texas. Those illegal immigrants are testing positive for COVID-19 at a rate that is seven times higher than the U.S. population. And yet because of politics, because the Democrats believe these illegal immigrants will vote Democratic, the public health doesn’t matter, COVID doesn’t matter, crime doesn’t matter. […] It is dangerous. And it will keep getting worse as long as this administration refuses to enforce the law.”

Epoch Times Photo
Border Patrol agents apprehend about two dozen illegal immigrants in Penitas, Texas, on March 11. 2021. (Charlotte Cuthbertson/The Epoch Times)

There’s been a growing number of illegal crossings in recent times, of which many are unaccompanied minors, leading to focused attention by the public and reporters to the present administration’s immigration policies, however, some reporters say they have been denied access to ride along with Border Patrol.

Getty Images correspondent John Moore alleged there is a lack of transparency along the border. Last week, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) stated that Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas’ trip to the border, including El Paso, Texas, “will be closed to press due to privacy and COVID-19 precautions.”

Moore won an award in 2019 for his photo of a Honduran toddler crying at the border.

“I respectfully ask US Customs and Border Protection to stop blocking media access to their border operations,” Moore wrote on Twitter Friday. “I have photographed CBP under Bush, Obama and Trump but now—zero access is granted to media. These long lens images [were] taken from the Mexican side.”

Moore described the current situation as unprecedented.

“There’s no modern precedent for a full physical ban on media access to CBP border operations,” Moore added in another Twitter post. “To those who might say, cut them some slack—they are dealing with a situation, I’d say that showing the U.S. response to the current immigrant surge is exactly the media’s role.”

Jack Phillips contributed to this report.