Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) clashed Tuesday with Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas over conditions for migrant children at border detention centers.
During a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, Cruz referred to the border facilities housing migrant children as “Biden cages.”
“How many children have been in the Biden cages in calendar year 2021?” Cruz asked Mayorkas.
“Senator, I respectfully disagree with your use of the term ‘cages,'” Mayorkas responded.
“Fine, you can disagree with it,” Cruz answered. “How many children have been in the Biden cages? I’ve been to the Biden cages, I’ve seen the Biden cages. How many children have you detained at the Donna tent facility in the cages you built to hold kids? How many children have been in those cages?”
“I, respectfully, am not familiar with the term ‘cages’ and to what you are referring,” Mayorkas retorted.
“There are enclosures in which they are locked in, in which I took photographs and put them out because you block the press and didn’t want people to see the Biden cages,” Cruz explained.
“I will have to circle back with you with a precise number,” Mayorkas answered.
Cruz then held up a photo he took when he visited a border facility in Donna, Texas, back in March. The photo shows children sleeping and playing on small cots on the floor and enclosed by a colorful plastic wall about two feet high.
“How many kids have been in these positions?” Cruz asked.
Mayorkas continued to deny that children are housed in cages, at which Cruz asked, “What are these walls?”
Cruz also pressed Mayorkas whether President Joe Biden or Vice President Kamala Harris had been to the southern border to see the Donna facility. Mayorkas confirmed that neither had been to see that facility.
Cruz also challenged his Democratic Senate colleagues during the hearing.
“Has any Democratic member of this committee given a damn enough to see the children being locked up by Joe Biden and Kamala Harris because of your failed immigration policies?” Cruz asked the Democratic members of the Judiciary Committee
The Texas senator peppered the Homeland Security secretary with a slew of additional questions. Cruz asked Mayorkas how many women have been sexually assaulted or trafficked into the U.S. this year, as well as how many children have been sexually assaulted as they were entering the U.S. illegally.
He also asked how many illegal immigrants who tested positive for COVID-19 were released and how many with criminal records were released.
“How many murderers have you released?” Cruz asked. “How many rapists have you released? How many child molesters have you released?”
Mayorkas responded to each question that he did not have the data to answer.
Public opinion has been negative lately towards the Biden administration’s immigration policies. An October Harvard CAPS/Harris poll found that only 35% approve of the job Biden is doing on immigration.