Sen. Ted Cruz rose to political stardom decrying big government, but when it comes to condemning the federal government’s dangerous detainment of a Dallas-born citizen, he’s lost his voice.
Last week, Customs and Border Patrol released 18-year-old Francisco Galicia after detaining him for 23 days in a migrant camp in Edinburg, Texas. Galicia has three forms of documentation showing he’s an American citizen, born in Dallas.
During his forced stay, Galicia lost 26 pounds and wasn’t, according to reports, allowed to shower, brush his teeth, or even call his family or a lawyer.
Only a few years ago, it would be impossible to imagine a scenario where Texas lawmakers would roll over, stay mum, and allow a federal agency to wantonly arrest U.S. citizens.
But in an era of Republican deference to President Trump, once believable principles vanish, including Cruz’s nominal political persona as Mr. anti-Big Government.
On Monday, The Signal reached out to Cruz for comment, but crickets have come from his office regarding the illegal impoundment of one of his constituents.
That silence is particularly deafening coming from the guy whose anti-Washington, anti-big brother posturing was so extreme at one point, he helped shut down the federal government because it tried giving people healthcare. Likewise, during Jade Helm 15, a military training exercise that took place in Texas during the Obama administration, Cruz was part of the fear-mongering chorus that portrayed the exercise as an evil invasion by the federal government.
Of course, Cruz isn’t the only Texas lawmaker silent on the worrying and illegal imprisonment of Galicia.
Sen. John Cornyn has also said nothing, but that’s pretty on-brand for him (the Signal also reached out to Cornyn on Monday and received no response).
Things have gotten so bad fellow Republicans are calling out the pair of Texas’ top Congressional leaders for their silence.
“Senators Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and John Cornyn, R-Texas, have had nary a word of sympathy for the constituent who suffered in gulag-esque detention in their home state after committing no crime,” wrote Tim Miller, the former spokesman for the Republican National Committee, in a recent USA Today op-ed.
It’s unclear why the jailing of a teenage citizen doesn’t move Cruz or Cornyn. One guess could be that both Senators have raked in thousands of dollars in donations from the for-profit prison industry—the same industry responsible for housing and making billions off of the hundreds of migrant families in search of American freedom, another relic of the Trump-era Republican Party.
Fernando covers Texas politics and government at the Texas Signal. Before joining the Signal, Fernando spent two years at the Houston Chronicle and previously interned at Houston’s NPR station News 88.7. He is a graduate of the University of Houston, Jack J. Valenti School of Communication, and enjoys reading, highlighting things, and arguing on social media. You can follow him on Twitter at @fernramirez93 or email at email@example.com