Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) released video from the banks of the Rio Grande on March 26, describing his experience with the current migrant crisis.
The senator announced this week that he would be visiting the U.S.-Mexico border on Friday with 17 other Republican senators amid an influx of illegal border crossing, particularly by unaccompanied minors.
As part of the tour, Cruz said he and his fellow members of Congress would visit the temporary migrant overflow facility in Donna, Texas, which has made headlines after photos circulated showing children sleeping in crowded conditions on the floor of the facility.
Cruz shared a series of tweets on Friday, including photos and video footage, depicting live scenes from the border and branded the current situation a “national security crisis.”
“It’s past midnight, I’m standing on the shore of the Rio Grande, the water is right behind me,” Cruz said in his first video.
“We’ve already gone to detention facilities that are overrun, many of them with families, small children. We saw multiple mothers who were nursing infant babies who had just crossed over and were being housed in outdoor holding pens where they were sleeping on the floor and nursing their babies.”
Cruz said that he and other members of Congress had also seen and heard cartel members and human traffickers on the other side of the river who had been “waving flashlights, yelling, and taunting Americans, taunting border patrol.”
“Because they know that under the current policy of the Biden administration, they can flood over here, they’re getting paid four to five thousand dollars a person to smuggle them into this country,” Cruz continued.
“And under our policies, when they smuggle them in, the Biden administration release them.”
The senator noted that last month alone saw 100,000 people come across the border illegally and that there are currently 15,000 children in federal government custody.
“This is a humanitarian crisis, it’s a public health crisis, the illegal immigrants who are being released, they’re testing positive for COVID-19 at a seven times higher rate than the American population, and it’s a national security crisis.”
Cruz urged president Joe Biden’s administration to put an end to the current situation and to “stop sanctioning lawless chaos on our southern border.”
“We encountered human traffickers and cartel members tonight, yelling at us across the Rio Grande and preparing to cross,” he wrote.
Cruz also shared a photo of a direction sign lying on the floor.
“The Biden Admin immediately halted building the wall, leaving major gaps through which hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants are streaming,” Cruz wrote.
“Instead, Biden admin is putting signs like this one (about 100 yards from the Rio Grande) directing illegal immigrants where to go.”
Cruz has lamented the Biden administration’s decision to continue barring reporters from going to the border to observe the conditions and operations in the migrant processing facilities.
The senator claimed the president is doing so because he’s “terrified of people seeing the inhumane conditions, seeing the human tragedies.”
The White House has said that they remain committed to providing transparency about the situation at the border but have not yet finalized the details on when greater media access would be granted.
As of March 23, over 16,500 unaccompanied migrant children were in the custody of either Customs and Border Protection (CBP) or the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), according to the HHS Administration for Children and Families.