Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) didn’t back off his hard-line approach to illegal immigration on Wednesday when he was confronted by a woman who suggested she entered the US illegally as a teen.
The Republican presidential candidate maintained that even children who entered the US illegally would have to suffer the consequences of their parents’ actions.
“I would note that if you are a DACA recipient it means that you were brought here illegally,” Cruz said at an Iowa event, referencing Obama’s executive actions protecting the children of some immigrants who came to the US without permission.
He added: “And violating the laws has consequences.”
NBC News reported that the woman who asked Cruz the question was Ofelia Valdez, who told the outlet that she entered the US as a teenager 15 years ago
Cruz told her that there are “human tragedies when people break the law.”
“There’s no reason that America’s laws should have less respect than the laws of every other country on earth,” Cruz said to audience applause. “We should welcome people who come following the laws, but there are consequences for breaking the laws. And that’s part of what makes America the nation that we are.”
Democrats blasted out the video on Thursday in order to slam Cruz.
“Ted Cruz’s heartless response to a young DACA recipient makes it clear why we need to elect a Democrat in 2016,” the Democratic National Committee’s Hispanic-media director, Pablo Manriquez, said in a blunt statement.
Democratic candidates have notably attempted to woo Latino voters by highlighting the party’s support for immigration reform with a pathway to citizenship for some immigrants living in the US illegally.
Both former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) have built out presidential campaign infrastructure aimed specifically at mobilizing Latino voters, citing immigration reform as a key issue.
At another event in Iowa on Thursday, MSNBC’s Benjy Sarlin pointed out that Clinton’s husband, former President Bill Clinton, was introduced by a person who immigrated into the US illegally.
Watch the video of Cruz’s exchange below:
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