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Video: Biden admin staffer blocks Sen. Cruz from recording overcrowded border facility

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas speaks at the Texas Values "Faith, Family and Freedom Forum" in Sept. 2019. (Eli Imadali/Austin American-Statesman/TNS)
March 29, 2021

A Biden administration staffer blocked Sen. Ted Cruz from filming the conditions at an overcrowded illegal immigrant holding facility in Donna, Texas, according to a video Cruz shared to Twitter on Sunday.

In the video, the woman identified by Cruz as a recently-hired senior advisor for the Biden administration repeatedly stepped in front of the senator’s camera in an attempt to block the recording.

“How far is Joe Biden going to stop the American people from seeing inside the Donna CBP facility? Biden sent a political operative from DC to block our cameras and even threatened another senator to obstruct legitimate congressional oversight,” Cruz said in a Tweet along with the video.

“Please give dignity to the people,” she is heard saying in the video. “Please respect the people, the rules.”

“The rules are arbitrary and they’re designed to keep the American people in the dark,” Cruz responded.

“Give the people dignity and respect. That’s all we ask. Dignity and respect,” the staffer said.

“Well, no it’s not. You’re asking, is this dignity and respect? Look at these people. There’s a pandemic,” Cruz said to the woman, pointing his camera to an overcrowded room revealing illegal immigrants sleeping on mats on the floor. “There’s a pandemic. Is this respecting the rights of these people? Are you respecting the rights of these people?”

“This is not a zoo, sir, please respect the people,” the staffer told Cruz. “Please don’t treat the people like this.”

“Your policies are unfortunately trying to hide them. I understand that you were instructed,” Cruz told the Biden staffer. “I respect them. I want to fix this situation, and the administration you’re working for is responsible for these conditions.”

In response to the Biden administration blocking the media from documenting the border facilities, Cruz and Sen. John Cornyn led a Senate delegation to the Texas-Mexico border to view the overcrowded facilities themselves last week.

According to internal CBP documents reviewed by ABC, there are 3,889 migrants being held in the Donna facility that is supposed to hold just 250, putting it 1,556 percent over capacity.

CBS News reported that over 15,000 unaccompanied illegal immigrant minors are currently being housed in federal facilities, with thousands being held in facilities well beyond the three-day legal limit.

Over 9,400 unaccompanied minors entered the United States in February, breaking the month’s previous record.

The number of immigrants attempting to cross the U.S.-Mexico border illegally will likely reach the highest rate in two decades, according to Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.