Donald Trump isn't the only Republican presidential candidate prepared to talk smack about Latinos to win the White House. Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, whose father hails from Cuba, accused Democrats Monday of helping "violent criminal illegal aliens."
Cruz said Senate Democrats have worked to protect immigrants with criminal records because they are “willing to stand in pure party line vote” in support of releasing undocumented immigrants who are “murderers and rapists” to protect the president, BuzzFeed reported. “The Democrats are getting more and more open that they are the party of illegal immigration,” he said during an interview with Iowa radio host Simon Conway. “They support amnesty. They support releasing criminal illegal aliens.”
Cruz has introduced a bill that would eliminate federal funding for sanctuary cities failing to enforce federal immigration law. He also wants to set a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in prison for people who illegally re-enter the country with an aggravated-felony conviction. The legislation will likely get killed by Senate Democrats, he said. “Virtually every Senate Democrat will vote party line in support of sanctuary cities, in support of allowing violent criminal illegal aliens to go free," he said.
Cruz is polling at 9 percent and has struggled to stand out in the polls against front-runners Trump and neurosurgeon Ben Carson. Trump launched his campaign this summer by calling Mexican immigrants rapists. Trump has also vowed to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, a position that has won over voters in the important early voting state of Iowa.
Following the shooting death of 32-year-old Kathryn Steinle this year, conservative Republican leaders have called for stricter laws involving undocumented immigrants who are convicted of serious crimes. She was allegedly killed on a San Francisco pier by a Mexican immigrant who had been deported from the U.S. five times after being convicted of seven felony convictions. Local Democratic leaders embraced sanctuary policies in 2012 after a new federal policy required state and local law enforcement to send fingerprints from every booking to immigration authorities.
Mexicans make up roughly half of the nation's 11.3 million undocumented immigrants.