Republican Sen. Ted Cruz argued Monday that conservatives are not anti-immigrant because they want to secure the U.S.-Mexico border, but rather similarly share common values with the Hispanic community.
“Any time someone talks about the need to secure the border, the media tries to paint that as you’re somehow anti-immigrant — what utter and complete nonsense,” Cruz said to a crowd of supporters while campaigning in Harlingen, Texas.
Cruz explained that while Texas was historically a Democratic state, the single party was divided between liberal and conservative political ideology, with Hispanic Texans primarily identifying as the latter. Hispanics, he pointed out, largely leaned conservative due to the alignment in the values of the Hispanic community, which he identified as “faith, family, patriotism … hard work and the American dream.”
“[Democratic Rep.] Beto [O’Rourke of Texas] and the media think that the way you get votes among Hispanic voters is you support open borders, and amnesty and socialism,” Cruz said. “It’s almost like the people talking about it have never actually met a real, live Hispanic in the state of Texas.”
“There is a right way to come into this country — you stand in line, you wait in line, you follow the rules and you come here to seek the American dream,” Cruz continued. “I am the son of an immigrant who fled Cuba in 1957 with nothing — with $100 in his underwear. He couldn’t speak English. He washed dishes. He made $0.50 an hour — but he came. He came legally. He came seeking the American dream.” (RELATED: Record Fundraising Hasn’t Been Enough To Push Beto Over Ted Cruz)
After the Texas senator asked the crowd for a show of hands who legally immigrated to the United States or were children of legal immigrants, a slew of onlookers raised their hands and the crowd began clapping and cheering.
“This is Texas. This is who we are,” Cruz responded. “We are a land of hope and opportunity and freedom, but there is a way to do that respecting the rule of law and keeping our community safe.”
Cruz trails O’Rourke among Hispanic voters by a 24-point margin, according to a Quinnipiac poll released Monday.
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