In Video on US-Mexico Border Crossing Perils, Sen. Cruz Blames Biden for ‘Worst Plague of Slavery’

© Sputnik ScreenshotUS Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) at the US-Mexico border in a video posted on Twitter on July 25, 2022.
US Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) at the US-Mexico border in a video posted on Twitter on July 25, 2022. - Sputnik International, 1920, 26.07.2022
In line with Republican Party priorities, US Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) has long raged about the “surge” of migrants coming across the US-Mexico border, claiming the Biden administration’s departure from the strict control policies of former US President Donald Trump have made the problem drastically worse.
In a new video posted on social media on Monday, Cruz accuses US President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris of being “responsible for the worst plague of slavery in America since the Civil War."
Viewer Warning: Graphic Images
The short video, just 1 minute and 8 seconds long, features the Texas senator speaking into a camera at night with bushes behind him and a spotlight on his face, warning about the dangers migrant children face when entering the US illegally.
"These children come in in debt to vicious cartels thousands and thousands of dollars. The teenage boys work for the gangs in every city in America, and the teenage girls experience a hell worse than that, with far too many of them human trafficked into sex slavery," Cruz says in the video. "Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are responsible for the worst plague of slavery in America since the Civil War."
"This is not compassionate. This is not humane. This is barbaric," he adds, as photos of migrants who died on the journey flash across the screen.
About 1 in 10 undocumented migrants the US Customs and Border Protection arrests is a minor, and the federal agency has nearly 5,000 migrant children in detention facilities at the border - about one-third of those in custody. One of the most controversial Trump policies, the “no tolerance” prosecution policy implemented in 2018, saw thousands of children separated from their families after their parents were accused of trafficking them across the border. With little effort made to keep track of family connections, even years after the policy had ended, more than 500 children had still not been reunited with their families.
It’s not the first time Cruz has used theatrics to amplify his opposition to Biden’s policies. Earlier this month, he led several other Republican lawmakers in a tour of southern border facilities, and last year, Cruz was lambasted for a “documentary-style” video filmed at the border that used an aesthetic largely recycled for Monday’s video.
When it comes to human trafficking, however, the opposition is not confined to conservatives seeking to get a leg up on their political opponents: the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) nonprofit group has also denounced the “modern enslavement of immigrant women in the US.” According to the group, the US Department of State estimates that between 14,500 and 17,500 people are trafficked into the US each year, with many being trafficked as sex slaves but many others becoming enslaved laborers in a variety of fields ranging from agriculture to domestic services.
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) speaks during a campaign event for Yesli Vega, a candidate for the 7th Congressional District, on June 20, 2022 in Fredericksburg, Virginia. - Sputnik International, 1920, 17.07.2022
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Trump-Biden Continuity

Trump has postured against similar evils, claiming that with his border wall and thousands of US and Mexican troops posted along the border, the deterrence created by making the trip even harder and more dangerous would result in less people attempting to do so. By putting extensive pressure on Mexico City, he also forced America’s southern neighbor to take a more aggressive anti-migrant policy on its own borders, especially its southern border with Guatemala, from which northbound caravans departed, often having already braved a journey across the borders from Honduras or El Salvador.

However, the border wall has not proven to be the impenetrable barrier that Trump said it would be, even along the areas where it has been constructed, and deaths have continued to rise. In 2021, at least 650 migrants died crossing the border - the most of any year for which the United Nations International Organization for Migration has kept records - and US law enforcement officials arrested 1.73 million people trying to cross the border. According to CBP, it is on track to arrest 2 million this year.

The offensive was also part of Trump’s nativist domestic politics, blaming immigrants for crime and drugs and casting them as a threat to the honest, God-fearing native-born Americans. It invigorated far-right militia groups, who rushed to “defend” the southern border, and has since converged with the Qanon conspiracy theory by casting Democrats as enabling the trafficking of children crossing the border - a key part of the Qanon ideology in which Trump is the key protagonist.

The Biden administration has looked more to use the carrot than the stick in addressing the problem, but despite Republicans’ pleadings, the focus remains the same: making it so difficult for migrants to travel that they won’t attempt to leave their countries. The three Central American states from which they most often come have all seen extensive US intervention in the 20th and 21st centuries, ensuring that popular left-wing governments that could challenge the power of American companies would never stand for long.

The governments that have been allowed to stand by Washington are pro-American and pro-neoliberalism, creating widespread poverty and violence and leading to the persecution of the country’s most vulnerable groups, including women, LGBTQ people, and indigenous people, all of whom form the bulk of the migrant caravans.
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