The surge of thousands of unaccompanied children across the southwest U.S. border prompted some Texas Republicans to tour the temporary shelter at San Antonio’s Lackland Air Force Base. Senator Ted Cruz, Attorney General Greg Abbott, and Congressman Michael Burgess talked with reporters after the tour, calling the situation a “humanitarian crisis.”
Abbott said, “We’re dealing with a human-made crisis. The challenges these children are going through are unprecedented. It’s unacceptable to have children housed in facilities like this.” The Texas Attorney General went on to blame the crisis on the Obama administration’s “failure and refusal to impose the rule of law, giving the impression to those coming here from far away that they can immigrate to the United States illegally without any kind of consequence whatsoever.”
Cruz and Abbott said that they were horrified to hear stories about little boys and girls being forced by the traffickers to cut off the fingers and ears of other little kids as a way of extorting money.
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Senator Cruz cited two reasons for the spike in numbers of children crossing the border since 2011. “The Obama administration has made a decision that they will instruct the Border Patrol not to enforce the law.” Cruz continued, “But the second thing that’s changed, the most striking thing that’s changed, is in June of 2012, the president unilaterally granted amnesty to some 800,000 people who entered as children. When that happened, if you look at the numbers, immediately following that, you see a dramatic spike, a dramatic spike of little girls and little boys being handed over to violent drug dealers.”