Texas Senator Ted Cruz has unveiled his latest effort to troll Democrats as he remains part of a Republican minority in the Senate that almost entirely refuses to negotiate with the Biden administration on any issue.
The senator filed a bill this week that would establish new ports of entry around the US, allowing travellers from outside the US to enter the country legally in those areas, and designating that all newly-arrived asylum seekers and “illegal aliens encountered at Border Patrol Sectors in Texas” be transferred to those locations.
Mr Cruz’s bill designated a number of Democratic strongholds for the new ports of entry in his bill including the Massachusetts island of Martha’s Vineyard, one of the wealthiest areas on the east coast.
“For the past 10 months, President Biden and his administration have willingly surrendered the United States’ southern border to dangerous criminal cartels, with no thought given to the South Texas border communities like McAllen and Del Rio, which are running low on resources from dealing with this massive influx of illegal immigrants,” contended Mr Cruz.
“That’s why today I am introducing this crucial legislation to alleviate the massive overload at the southern border by establishing new ports of entry in Democrat-led communities such as North Hero, Vermont, where Bernie Sanders spends his summers, and Martha’s Vineyard, where Democrat elites host their cocktail parties,” he said.
The bill has no chance of passage; aside from being a naked attempt to politicise the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) housing of migrants including asylum seekers around the country, it faces no future in a Democrat-led Senate and House.
But it represents the latest attempt by Mr Cruz, who ran for president in 2016, to keep his name on the national stage as a thorn in the side of Democrats who are in control of the White House and both houses of Congress for the first time in a decade.
In recent months he has publicly flouted the Senate’s requirement for masks indoors due to the Covid-19 pandemic, stressing that he is vaccinated, and also battled the Biden administration’s vaccination mandate for federal employees and private employers with 100 or more workers.
The Texas senator was widely mocked in February after it was revealed that he and his family absconded to Cancun, Mexico while millions in his state were without power due to a blizzard.
Immigration has remained an area where the Biden administration has faced sharp criticism on Capitol Hill, especially from Republicans. Many were shocked by images of thousands of Haitian migrants arriving in Texas to seek asylum last month; Republicans blamed the crowds’ encampments on the Biden administration supposedly not being tough enough on denying entry to migrants, and called for expulsions while progressives and especially Black Democrats condemned harsh treatment of the migrants and called for them to be admitted.
In the end, roughly 13,000 migrants from the encampments in Del Rio, Texas, were admitted to the US on a temporary basis while asylum claims were processed; at least 8,000 returned to Mexico voluntarily or were put on expulsion flights out of the country, according to DHS.
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