Cruz Spars With Agriculture Secretary on Border Security


Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) got into a heated exchange with an unlikely secretary of Agriculture about security on the U.S.-Mexico border and the surge of northern migration.

During a Senate hearing titled, “Immigrant Farmworkers are Essential to Feeding America,” Cruz pressed Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on border security.

He asked Vilsack if his agency was in charge of border security, migrant detention centers, prosecution of human traffickers. Cruz also asked if Vilsack is the attorney general or the head of the Department of Homeland Security.

All of which the secretary answered that he was not.

However, Cruz took issue with Vilsack’s explanation for why there is an ongoing surge of migrants at the southern border, noting that Vilsack pointed to poverty as a driving reason for the northern migration.

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Cruz continued, “Your answers on immigration were fertilizer. They were nonsense. Your answer, you said, ‘Why are we seeing this crisis?’ Your answer was poverty. There are 7 billion people on planet earth, many of whom are poor. And you know what? They were poor last year, and we had the lowest rate of illegal immigration in 45 years. What’s changed is this administration refuses to enforce the law, and Texas is paying the price for it. That’s what’s changed.”

“Your other answer was the pandemic. Mr. Secretary, last year there was a pandemic, and we had the lowest rate of illegal immigration in 45 years. Poverty didn’t magically appear on January of 2021, and the pandemic didn’t appear on January 2021. What appeared was Joe Biden and Kamala Harris and policies that are inhumane, that are cruel, and that are failing,” he added.

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Vilsack responded by asking the Texas senator if the border was secure last year, which Cruz said it was.

The secretary then asked why the then-Republican-led Senate did not pass a bill that would let immigrant farmworkers earn a pathway to citizenship as he noted some lawmakers have called for securing the border before passing legislation to create a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants.

“Let be clear. I’m not Lindsey Graham. I don’t support this bill. I understand that there have been Democrats and Republicans who support amnesty. I ain’t one of them,” Cruz shot back as he claimed Vilsack supports amnesty for undocumented immigrations.

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However, the secretary said, “I want a workforce that’s gonna continue to support the greatest agriculture and food industry in the world.”

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