Beginning his week in Laredo, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz will venture down to the Rio Grande Valley for a third time this year on Tuesday. In his latest visit, he hopes to further open the lines of communication with public officials and local business leaders.

His most recent visit was during Fourth of July as he participated in McAllen’s Independence Day Parade and held a private meet-and-greet with local supporters and public officials at Casa de Palmas Renaissance Hotel.

So far this election season, Cruz and other Texas Republicans have been steadily increasing their visits to the region as they seek more engagement opportunities within the area’s growing population and seek to chip away at the Democrat stronghold. Much to the chagrin of their detractors, the tactics seem to be working.

In December, Cruz held a private border security roundtable with local leaders. He returned in February, where he participated in a nighttime ride-along with Border Patrol agents followed by meetings the next morning with business leaders and mayors in Mission. He ended his visit with an aerial tour and boat patrol with DPS Troopers at Anzalduas Park.

Cruz stated, “The purpose of this trip, like many trips I’ve done in the past, is to listen to concerns of people here in the Valley and to talk about the challenges facing our country.”

Anzalduas Park is a public park notorious for drug smuggling and illegal border crossings as the Rio Grande shallows in this area and lacks physical barriers between Mexico and the United States. While there, Cruz addressed the humanitarian crisis on the unaccompanied minors who have been caught in the middle of the immigration and border security policies.

In his quest for understanding the fiscal, economic, and physical impact Trump’s proposed border wall will have on the region, he has turned to local officials. Cruz asked border patrol agents if the wall would assist, “the answer I got was an emphatic yes. The wall is a helpful tool. They said, ‘The wall does not stop traffickers from getting across but what it does, it slows them down’.”

Sen. Cruz will hold separate roundtable meetings throughout Tuesday. He will begin his day with Agricultural leaders (cotton, citrus, grain), additionally with Royal Technologies, as he will hold an executive meeting with the CEO and then host an employee town-hall. Afterwards he will meet with city officials of Pharr in a private roundtable and tour of Anzalduas International Pharr Bridge. Ending the day in another private meeting with U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

The purpose of this trip will be focused on agriculture, immigration, and the effects of NAFTA re-negotiation talks.

The senator will end his week in El Paso in similar roundtable meetings with local officials in that region.

Miriam Cepeda

Miriam Cepeda is the Rio Grande Valley Bureau Chief for Texas Scorecard. A second-generation Mexican American, she is both fluent in English and Spanish and has been influential in grassroots organizing and conservative engagement within Hispanic communities. If you don’t find her “Trumping”, you can find her saving animals, running her dog, hiking the Andes, or volunteering with the U.S. National Park Service.

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