Despite protests condemning his visit to the Rio Grande Valley, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz spent Independence Day addressing concerns while promoting his vision.

La Union del Pueblo Entero (LUPE) has been vocal in condemning Sen. Cruz and rejected any open-dialogue with him. He even invited members to McAllen’s Independence Day brunch to eat and engage in a discussion.

During Cruz’s public speech before the parade, protestors attempted to drown out his message of freedom in America.

“Every fourth of July, we think about what freedom means to us…” said Cruz, “I will say you have a right to speak, and I will always defend your right.”

Texas Scorecard met with Cruz during his visit.

What is it about the Rio Grande Valley that keeps you returning?

South Texas has  always had conservative values. And the people here love America. Love Texas. And love being free. It’s a vibrant community, and it’s a wonderful community.

What’s your favorite Mexican dish?

Beef Enchiladas.

On another note, as far as your previous tours of the border, has anything impacted your visits?

Many times I have come down here and sat down with the border patrol agents. Sit down with law enforcement, sheriffs, police, and just ask them; just listen.

Not enough people in public office listen.

At the end of the day, law enforcement here on the border knows much better how to secure the border than folks who don’t live down here and aren’t seeing it day-to-day.

What I’m urging the new administration is to listen to local law enforcement.

Listen to the people living along the border to understand what tools are needed and where, to get the job done. I think we should use all of the above; we should use technology, all of the man power, walls, physical barriers.

Everything we have we should use together to get the job done.

What is it that you love about celebrating the Fourth of July in Texas?

You know the Fourth of July is a celebration of freedom. Two hundred and forty-one years ago, when the Declaration of Independence was signed. That day, that moment was a revolution of ideas. The revolution of combat followed and we won our independence, but the Declaration of Independence encompassed two novel and extraordinary concepts.

Number one: that our rights don’t come from government, they don’t come from a king or queen, or a president; they come from our creator, God almighty.

And number two: that sovereignty doesn’t come from the top down, it emanates from ‘we the people’ up.

Those ideas changed the world.

And Texas, I have often described as ‘America on Steroids’.

We have this love of freedom intensified ten-fold. That’s what I love about celebrating Fourth of July in Texas.”

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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