Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) grilled Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas on Tuesday with questions about migrant children being kept in what Cruz called "Biden cages" at the southern border.
Mayorkas told the senator he "respectfully" disagreed with his use of the term "cages" to describe the pens where hundreds of migrant teenagers were held at overcrowded immigration detention facilities in Texas earlier this year.
"Fine, you can disagree with it," Cruz said. "How many children have been in the Biden cages? I've been to the Biden cages, I've seen the Biden cages. How many children have you detained at the Donna [Texas] tent facility in the cages you built to hold kids? How many children have been in those cages?"
"I, respectfully, am not familiar with the term 'cages' and to what you are referring," Mayorkas said.
I\u2019ve been to the border and I\u2019ve seen the Biden cages.\n\nBut Secretary Mayorkas doesn\u2019t know how many \nchildren have been in the Biden cages.\n#BidenBorderCrisispic.twitter.com/0It5sGvWXc— Senator Ted Cruz (@Senator Ted Cruz) 1637095660
"Enclosures in which they are locked in," Cruz said slowly. "In which I took photographs and put them out because you blocked the press and didn't want people to see the Biden cages. These secure facilities in which they are locked down in Donna, those facilities, how many children have been in them?"
Senate staff then held up a photograph of the migrant detention facility in Donna, Texas to support Cruz's claim. The photograph was taken in the spring and showed children confined in overcrowded conditions.
"Oh, by the way, here's a photograph of the Biden cages," Cruz said. "Children sleeping on floors, crushed in upon each other. When I took this photograph, the rate of COVID positivity was over 10 percent."
"That is precisely why I stated in March of this year that a Border Patrol station is no place for a child," Mayorkas said. But he could not provide Cruz with a specific answer on the number of children detained at that facility and he continued to insist that children were not being held in "cages."
Cruz then brought up the fact that President Joe Biden has not yet visited the southern border and criticized Democrats for failing to end the migrant crisis at the border. Mayorkas confirmed that neither Biden nor Vice President Kamala Harris had visited the Donna facility.
"Has any Democratic member of this committee given a damn enough to see the children being locked up by Joe Biden and Kamala Harris because of your failed immigration policies?" Cruz demanded.
"Democrats have been down to the Donna facility," Mayorkas answered. "Whether they are members of this committee, I do not know."