After his most recent trip to the southern border, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz said he believes it is necessary to bring back DNA testing for all illegal border crossers to prevent human trafficking.

Cruz (R–TX) discussed his most recent trip to the border on his podcast called the Verdict with Ted Cruz.

About an hour into the midnight patrol Cruz attended, they encountered a group composed mostly of women and children. 

He said he talked with the children for several minutes.

A number of them were from Guatemala and El Salvador, and many, if not all, were unaccompanied minors.

“There was one little girl, a very cute little girl, who was 13 years old. She had no family with her. There was another boy who was 15 years old. He had no family with him. There was another girl who was 16 years old. She had no family. They’re all in this group,” he said.

When the children were asked where they were going, they all said different places, including Oregon and Virginia. When pressed more, the children said they were headed to their “tio’s house.”

According to Cruz, the children all agreed that their tios—Spanish for uncles—had no idea they were coming.

“It started to really dawn on us in a really depressing way that these kids weren’t going to an uncle,” said Cruz. “They were being trafficked. They’re being sent somewhere. They’re all told to say they’re going to see their tio.”

He asked the children if they had faced any form of violence or assault from those trafficking them. The children refused to say anything, but Cruz said, “The scared look on their faces answered the question.”

The one that haunts me was, in the back there was this man, a grown man maybe 35 years old, and he was with a little girl who was 10 and he said she was his daughter. She said he was her dad. It was obvious to everyone, he was not her father. He had his arm around her and it was like, locked tight like he was holding her almost so she wouldn’t run away. And the look of terror in that little girl’s face… she was so frightened of this large sweaty man who had his arm around her and was saying he was her father.

Cruz continued, saying there’s a frustration and a sense of helplessness because, under the Biden administration, there’s nothing Border Patrol can do about it. 

“During the Trump administration, they had a policy that they were DNA testing, in particular, adult men who would present with young children and claimed to be their fathers, because this was a persistent problem,” stated Cruz. “And they’d DNA test them and north of 30 percent of them had no match. They were not their fathers.”

According to Cruz, the cartels effectively “rent” these kids. 

“It was sick looking at that little girl,” he said. “In any sane world, you’d say get your damn hands off her. We’re going to DNA test… And when we find out you’re not her dad, you’re going to be arrested.”

He pointed out that Democrats don’t have any specific reason for why they got rid of DNA testing, just that they should do so.

Cruz called for elected Democrats to take action, visit the border, and see the mess it truly is, then work with Republicans to pass legislation securing the border and requiring DNA testing.

Soli Rice

A journalist for Texas Scorecard, Soli is a new Texan with a passion for politics. She's excited to hone her writing skills and help spread truth to Texans.