Republican senator Ted Cruz has drawn criticism for taking a trip to America’s southern border as the conservative Texan politician once again became the butt of internet jokes and memes.
In the style of a wildlife documentary, Cruz captured his experience with the help of professional photographers and shared his recent journey to the US-Mexico border Thursday night on social media, where he aimed to shed light on what Republicans have dubbed a crisis.
Sporting a dark green fishing shirt and matching baseball cap with the Texas flag, Cruz spoke at a press conference where he sought to paint a dramatic picture of his experience: “On the other side of the river we have been listening to and seeing cartel members – human traffickers – right on the other side of the river waving flashlights, yelling and taunting Americans, taunting the border patrol.”
Despite his claims that the border situation is a direct result of the Biden administration’s immigration policies, residents in the Rio Grande Valley have said no such crisis exists. In fact, the number of border crossings under the Biden administration largely mirror those under the former Trump administration. Cruz was accompanied by 18 other Republican senators including John Cornyn, Susan Collins, and Linsey Graham.
After claiming he ran into heckling cartel members and saw a dead body floating in the Rio Grande, Cruz was derided by many, including former congressman Beto O’Rourke who said: “You’re in a border patrol boat armed with machine guns. The only threat you face is unarmed children and families who are seeking asylum (as well as the occasional heckler).”
O’Rourke added: “If you’re looking for a crisis to cosplay Senator for, I’m happy to point you in the right direction.”
Some compared Cruz’s attempt at embedded journalism to a scene from Jurassic Park.
Comedians on Twitter capitalized on the Republican senator’s stunt.
Others referenced the junior senator’s recent vacation to Cancun, Mexico that he recently took while millions of Texans went without power and heat during a deadly winter storm.
Yet more compared the jaunt to a scene from Deliverance, a film about four city-slickers that venture to the rural backwoods of Georgia by canoe.