Dallas Morning News
May 9, 2013
by Alexandria Baca
WASHINGTON — Texas Sen. Ted Cruz tried to add significant security resources along the U.S.-Mexico border as a Senate committee debated immigration legislation Thursday, but his amendment was rejected.
Cruz proposed tripling the number of Border Patrol agents stationed along the U.S.-Mexico border and quadrupling equipment, “including cameras, sensors, drones and helicopters,” within three years. He also would have required that 700 miles of border fence called for in a 2006 law be finished.
If the Department of Homeland Security failed to comply, 20 percent of its budget for the next year would be shifted as block grants to border states. But the amendment was voted down, 13-5. Sen. John Cornyn was among those supporting his fellow Texas Republican.
Cruz also clashed with New York Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer, who complained that the Texas freshman was falsely accusing the committee of failing to take security seriously.
“Let’s not keep bringing up this false issue,” Schumer said, raising his voice slightly. Border security isn’t the real issue he said, but rather the fact that Cruz won’t support any immigration legislation that offers a path to citizenship for the 11 million people already in the country illegally.
Cornyn came to Cruz’s defense, saying all was going well on the committee before Schumer “impugned people’s motives.”
Cruz and Schumer continued to pick at each other for another few minutes, and Cruz invited all of the members to visit the Texas-Mexico border to see the “broken immigration system” that has motivated his amendments.