Homeland security chief calls Ted Cruz’s comments “revolting” in heated border hearing
By Julia Forrest, The Texas Tribune
“Homeland security chief calls Ted Cruz’s comments “revolting” in heated border hearing” was first published by The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan media organization that informs Texans — and engages with them — about public policy, politics, government and statewide issues.
Sign up for The Brief, The Texas Tribune’s daily newsletter that keeps readers up to speed on the most essential Texas news.
Republican U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz and U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas exchanged heated barbs during Tuesday’s Senate Judiciary hearing over border issues, with each official referring to one another as “revolting.”
At the hearing, Mayorkas was grilled by Republicans — as he has been for the past year — over border issues including the increasing number of migrants crossing, fentanyl deaths and sex trafficking. Cruz, who has been an ardent critic of the Biden administration official, was particularly fiery in his line of questioning — blaming the secretary directly for crimes against children.
“The children raped, they are at your feet,” Cruz told Mayorkas. “And if you had integrity, you would resign.”
“You’re willing to let children be raped to follow political orders,” Cruz continued. “This is a crisis. It’s a disgrace.”
Mayorkas responded saying “what the senator said was revolting” and refused to address his comments.
“Your refusal to do your job is revolting,” Cruz said.
Cruz also asked Mayorkas if he knew how many of the migrant “get-aways” were rapists or terrorists, and said those who illegally crossed the border have led to drug overdoses.
“Look what has happened under your policy when you open up the border to the worst illegal immigration our nation’s history — people die,” Cruz said.
“Senator, you are so profoundly disrespecting my 22 years of government service,” Mayorkas responded as Cruz continued to speak over him.
This is not the first time that Cruz and Mayorkas have sparred. In February, Cruz told Fox Business that he believed Mayorkas was the “largest human trafficker on Earth.” And in October of last year, Cruz along with U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina, sent a letter to Mayorkas saying his leadership of the southern border was a “gross dereliction of duty” and “grounds for impeachment.”
U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, the other Texas senator who serves on the Judiciary committee, also pressed Mayorkas about fentanyl crossing the border.
When asked if he knew how many people were carrying fentanyl or other drugs across the border, Mayorkas said about 90% of fentanyl is brought in through ports of entry. Cornyn shot back, saying “that’s a totally made up number.”
Cornyn went on to wrap up the exchange by saying Mayorkas has “simply lost all credibility.”
According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection data, fentanyl brought through U.S. ports of entry accounted for more than 96% of fentanyl seizures at the border since the 2023 fiscal year began on Oct. 1.
We can’t wait to welcome you Sept. 21-23 to the 2023 Texas Tribune Festival, our multiday celebration of big, bold ideas about politics, public policy and the day’s news — all taking place just steps away from the Texas Capitol. When tickets go on sale in May, Tribune members will save big. Donate to join or renew today.
This article originally appeared in The Texas Tribune at https://www.texastribune.org/2023/03/28/ted-cruz-mayorkas-border-revolting/.
The Texas Tribune is a member-supported, nonpartisan newsroom informing and engaging Texans on state politics and policy. Learn more at texastribune.org.