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Cruz talks immigration, economy in Victoria

By By Johnathan Silver -
July 11, 2014 at 2:11 a.m.
Updated July 12, 2014 at 2:12 a.m.

Victoria resident Dr. Oscar Zuniga goes to ask United States Sen. Ted Cruz a question after he gave a speech at the University of Houston-Victoria on Friday.

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz gave a brief statement Friday about the economy after meeting with local elected and business leaders, but the conversation quickly turned to the U.S.-Mexico border and immigration.

The senator said jobs and economic growth are the No. 1 issues he's focusing on. Also, the country is on the wrong track, Cruz said, referencing the "Obama economic agenda," which, he said, adversely affects youths, minorities and single mothers.

"We need to get back to common sense economic principles this country was built on that enable small businesses to prosper and create jobs and that help people who are struggling to achieve the American dream," Cruz said.

His attention then turned to immigration, as tens of thousands of unaccompanied minors are entering the U.S. through its border with Mexico.

Cruz blames President Barack Obama, referring to his June 2012 executive order that allows undocumented people who entered the country as children to remain in the country and work.

"The president is right in one regard: This is a humanitarian crisis," Cruz said. "But it is a crisis of President Obama's own making. It is the direct consequence of President Obama's lawlessness."

Cruz referenced his visit to Lackland Air Force Base, where about 1,200 children are being accommodated in an emergency shelter.

"What we're seeing right now is the consequence of amnesty. This is the face of amnesty. Three years ago in 2011, there were roughly 6,000 unaccompanied children apprehended crossing into this country," Cruz said. "Then in 2012, President Obama unilaterally and illegally granted amnesty to some 800,000 people who were here illegally who had entered as children. And the direct and predictable consequence of doing that in 2012 was the explosion in the number of unaccompanied children coming into this country."

Cruz also referenced the Department of Homeland Security's estimation that as many as 90,000 unaccompanied children will enter the country this year while a projected 145,000 will come in 2015.

"What is happening is heartbreaking because these little boys and little girls, they are being brought in not by some well-meaning social worker. They're being brought in by coyotes who are transnational, global, criminal cartels. These are vicious, hardened criminals, and these little boys and little girls are subjected to physical assault, to sexual assault - and it is all the consequence of President Obama's refusal to enforce the law," Cruz said.

The senator's visits continue Saturday with scheduled stops in Fredericksburg and Stonewall.

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