Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference on Thursday. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
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Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz was greeted to applause Thursday as he took the stage at the Conservative Political Action Conference, where he broke immigration news from the Texas border.
Cruz, who was joined onstage by conservative radio talk show host Mark Levin, told the audience that he had some breaking news from the Rio Grande section of the southern border.
"Since Inauguration Day, illegal crossings have dropped 50 percent [in the Rio Grande section of the border]," he said, as the audience broke out in applause and cheers. Cruz mentioned that he had gone on a ride-along on a midnight patrol of the area and that a border patrol agent had given him the information about the drop in crossing attempts.
"Oddly enough, you and I have not seen that on 6 o'clock news," he added.
Cruz said Border Patrol agents theorized that illegal crossing attempts had dropped because the people who were making the attempts realized that the United States had elected leadership that would finally enforce the law. (Relevant portion begins at about the 20:30 mark below.)
Cruz and Levin also discussed ideas related to making 2017 a "historic and milestone" year. He was particularly interested in discussing the Constitution, the possibility of a near-term future vacancy on the Supreme Court and his desire to pass a term-limit amendment.
The term-limit constitutional amendment he referred to was co-sponsored by Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.) and introduced Jan. 3. If passed, it would limit U.S. senators to two six-year terms and members of the U.S. House of Representatives to three two-year terms, according to a press release.
"I think [the amendment is] one of the first steps you take to actually drain the swamp," Cruz said. "I think we ought to demonstrate we heard the voters."
Cruz referred at length to the "lawlessness" of the eight years of President Barack Obama's administration and said there are "few, if any, things more important than putting a constitutionalist on the Supreme Court." He cited President Donald Trump's nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch for the Supreme Court and indicated that he felt a Gorsuch confirmation would contribute to a healthy move away from judicial activism. The senator stated that he believed there could be another vacancy on the court Trump's first term in office.
The Texas lawmaker also addressed the current state of the Democratic Party, which he described as being "in denial" and "angry," and he offered "thanks" to former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) for allowing Republicans the ability to confirm Trump's Cabinet picks with little interference from Democrats. Reid famously used the "nuclear option" to end the filibuster of executive branch nominations.
"[The] direct result of Harry Reid is that we now have the most conservative Cabinet in decades," Cruz said.
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