Several local New York officials criticized Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) Sunday for saying he’s tired of hearing advice from northerners about how the South should handle immigration problems when places like New York City have crime problems of their own.
Cruz spoke Saturday to the limited-government group Americans for Prosperity, saying he’s tired of being “lectured” by people like Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) about immigration.
“Now, I understand that Manhattan is very concerned with their security with the Bronx, but it’s a little bit different on 2,000 miles of the Rio Grande,” Cruz said, according to the New York Daily News.
But taking that bite of the Big Apple led some officials to bite back. New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito said on Twitter that Cruz was “pathetic” and using “tired and wrong stereotypes about the Bronx.”
“The truth is the Bronx is growing and prospering and doesn’t need to be insulted by Tea Party extremists like Ted Cruz,” she said.
Cruz also got in trouble with Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., who said the senator’s comments were “disgusting.”
“The Bronx has seen unprecedented positive growth in recent years, and Senator Cruz’s infantile attempt to score cheap political points by slandering our borough is revolting, and unworthy of the title of United States senator,” he said.
Immigration is shaping up as a flash point for the midterm elections, as President Barack Obama has said he would take steps on his own to make it easier for millions of illegal immigrants to stay in the country and work. That plan has angered Republicans who say consideration of these steps has already led to a flood of illegal immigrants trying to enter through Texas.
Last week, however, new signs emerged that Obama may delay the most dramatic steps until after the elections, an apparent recognition of how these actions could doom Democrats’ chances at the polls.