Ted Cruz Solves Border Problems With New Levels Of Table-Pounding
As part of the Republicans' push for immediate Fox News rage over the US-Mexico border, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) used a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on border issues yesterday to accuse Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas of being personally responsible for child trafficking and rape, because that proves how serious Republicans are about border security.
Peppering Mayorkas with loaded questions and demanding yes or no answers, Cruz bravely grandstanded and reduced complicated immigration issues to sound bites that delighted right-wing Twitter. Here, have a bit of unrestrained performative rage from Cruz, who refuses to let Mayorkas actually respond to any of the questions because Mayorkas would just lie anyway, he works for Joe Biden so of course he's a liar.
A fact to keep in mind before we go any further: For all Cruz's ranting about the threat that criminal immigrants supposedly pose, the reality is that undocumented immigrants are far less likely to commit violent crimes than US citizens are, a fact that still hasn't changed since Donald Trump lied about it in his 2015 campaign announcement.
\u201cTed Cruz is pulling out all the stops to get on Hannity tonight\u201d— Aaron Rupar (@Aaron Rupar) 1680020952
After putting up a chart with a big red line to show that immigration was just peachy until Mayorkas personally allowed the entire population of Central America into the US, Cruz demanded answers to unanswerable questions about criminal immigrants, because that's a senator's job. He also conflated Border Patrol arrest numbers at the border during the Biden administration so far — 5.5 million — with the number of people who pass an initial asylum screening and are allowed into the US. Bigger numbers are way more frightening!
The larger tally includes people who've been arrested more than once, and doesn't account for the fact that most border crossers are deported back to Mexico or their home countries. Last fall, the New York Times reported that, during Biden's time in office, the total of asylum seekers actually admitted temporarily to the US while their cases are processed is a bit more than one million. Keep that in mind as Cruz keeps waving around the misleading "5.5 million" number.
Cruz: Let me ask you, we now have over 5.5 million people who have entered this country illegally under Joe Biden. How many murderers have you released into America?
Mayorkas: Senator, I’m not aware of any murderer we’ve released into the —
Cruz: So you don’t know? Do you know?
Mayorkas: Senator, let me say something. If you take a look at —
Cruz: No, no, you don't get to give a speech. Do you know how many murderers you've released?
Mayorkas: I'm just trying to answer your quest ...
Cruz: How many rapists have you released?
Mayorkas: Senator, I'm trying to —
Cruz: Do you know? You can answer "I know," or "I don't know."
Mayorkas: Senator, any individual who poses a public safety threat ...
Cruz: How many child molesters have you released?
Mayorkas: ... would be removed from the United States.
Cruz, voice rising: So your testimony under oath, subject to perjury, is that you have not released any murderers, rapists, or child molesters among the 5.5 million. Is that your testimony?
Mayorkas asked the committee chair if he would be allowed to answer the loaded questions, but Cruz bravely interrupted again: "No, you may not! You may answer my question: Is that your testimony, yes or no?"
The DHS secretary also wouldn't give a yes or no answer to whether he'd stopped beating his wife yet, which is probably cause for impeachment, too.
Cruz moved on to the latest border freakout on the Right, human smugglers' use of plastic wrist bands that are color-coded to indicate the number of times migrants have tried to crossed and how much they still owe the cartels for getting them to the border. Reuters explains the practice here. Cruz asked Mayorkas if he knew what the bands are for, called him incompetent when Mayorkas didn't know, and claimed the bands are evidence of "sex trafficking." Mind you, that claim isn't mentioned in either the Reuters story or this piece from the Border Report, but why would Cruz let that stop him from making the most lurid accusations possible?
\u201c"What the senator said was revolting and I'm not going to address it" -- Mayorkas after Ted Cruz accuses him of being complicit in child sexual abuse\u201d— Aaron Rupar (@Aaron Rupar) 1680020952
Cruz waved around a plastic bracelet and demanded that Mayorkas tell him how many children "have been sold into sex slavery," since surely, as QAnon says, the administration tracks that while doing nothing about it. He made sure to repeat "children sold into sex slavery" as many times as possible, then accused Mayorkas of personally allowing the murder and sexual abuse of children
Mr. Secretary, I want to say to you right now your behavior is disgraceful and the deaths, the children assaulted, the children raped, they are at your feet and if you had integrity, you would resign!
And I will tell you the men and women of the Border Patrol, they’ve never had a political leader undermine them. They despise you, Mr. Secretary, because you’re willing to let children be raped to follow political orders. This is a crisis, it’s a disgrace, and you won’t even admit that this human tragedy is a crisis.
So that was some red meat for the far Right, hooray.
Once Cruz was finished grandstanding, Judiciary Committee chair Dick Durban (D-Illinois) allowed Mayorkas to reply, finally, but by then, Mayorkas had had it. "What the senator said was revolting. I’m not going to address it," he said, prompting another fit from Cruz, who said, "Your refusal to do your job is revolting."
In another exchange, this time with Texas's other Senate idiot John Cornyn, Mayorkas angered Cornyn by noting that "about 90 percent" of fentanyl smuggled into the US comes through official ports of entry, not on the backs of illegal border crossers.
Cornyn angrily declared, "That's a totally made up number!" and closed his questioning by saying Mayorkas has "simply lost all credibility."
The Texas Tribune notes that in fact,
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.
Wow, you know what that means? Obviously, Sec. Mayorkas has personally been rigging the CBP stats! That monster.
[Texas Tribune / Mediaite / Border Report / Reuters]
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Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.