Ted Cruz Takes Aim at Joe Biden, Calls Border Conditions 'Grotesque, Inhumane, and Wrong'

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) has described conditions at immigration facilities at the U.S.-Mexico border as "grotesque and inhumane" and lay the blame squarely at the feet of President Joe Biden.

Cruz, who last month led a delegation of 19 Republican senators including Lindsey Graham, Susan Collins and John Cornyn to visit the border, said the situation at the facilities hosting migrants looking to enter the U.S. were at their worst state in 10 years.

"Texans are mad and frustrated and they should be," Cruz said on Thursday night during an appearance on the Chris Salcedo Show on Newsmax.

"Over the last decade I have been down to the border many times representing the great state of Texas. I've seen it bad before, but I've never seen it remotely as bad as it is now. I went with the border patrol agency and we saw caravans of people hiking north from the Rio Grande river, kids walking alone, mothers with infants walking alone and coming up here."

Data released on Thursday by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) showed that 18,890 unaccompanied children crossed the U.S.-Mexico border last month, the highest monthly tally in history according to government data.

"In March 2021, CBP encountered more than 172,000 persons attempting entry along the Southwest border. This total represented a 71 percent increase over February 2021," CBP said in a statement.

'Texans are mad and frustrated.'@TedCruz comments on Biden's border crisis. https://t.co/VlT7z8drtO pic.twitter.com/5jo2uhbPmj

— Newsmax (@newsmax) April 9, 2021

Cruz said on his trip to the border he visited a facility in Donna, Texas, where kids were laying side-by-side on the floor with "no beds and no masks" and were "wrapped up in emergency blankets."

"The capacity is 1,000 people. With COVID-19 restrictions, the capacity is 250 people. When we were there they had 4,200 people packed into those 'Biden's houses'. [...] It is grotesque, it is inhumane and it is wrong," he continued.

Cruz also claimed the rate of coronavirus positivity at the Donna facility was "10 percent."

The Texas senator added the Biden administration had sent a "political minder" from Washington, D.C. to "try and stop the senators from recording what happened" at the facility. The Biden administration has since allowed press at the facility, a development which Cruz attributed to the pictures and video he and other senators shared on social media.

"This was preventable," Cruz added. "It is the direct result of three political decisions made by Joe Biden. He halted the construction of the border wall, he brought back the failed policy of catch and release and ended the 'Remain in Mexico' policy."

Ted Cruz
U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) speaks to members of the press after a Senate Republican luncheon at Russell Senate Office Building March 24 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. Alex Wong/Getty Images

Cruz's comments came a day after Texas Republican Governor Greg Abbott described immigration facilities at the U.S.-Mexico border as a "nightmare" and called for an investigation into the treatment of migrants at those facilities.

"While we wait on the Biden administration to act, I am directing the Texas Department of Public Safety and the Texas Rangers to immediately begin investigating these allegations," Abbott said on Wednesday, as he held a press conference outside of the Freeman Coliseum in San Antonio, which is reportedly housing more than 1,000 unaccompanied children.

"This must end. The Biden administration must act now."

Abbott added the Texas Health and Human Services and the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services had received a series of complaints, ranging from "children with COVID are not being physically separated from children without COVID," to a lack of staff to "safely supervise the children at this facility" and to children not being adequately fed.

A spokesperson for the White House said in response, in a statement issued to KEYE-TV: "Currently we see no basis for Governor Abbott's call to shut down the San Antonio Freeman Coliseum as an intake site, however his claims will be looked into and investigated by the Department of Health and Human Services."

The graphic below, provided by Statista, illustrates the number of children detained at the U.S. sothern border.

Children Detained Southern Border - Statista
Statista

Update 4/9/21, 1:30 p.m. ET: This article was updated to include an infographic.