Politics

Bill Keating responds to Ted Cruz’s proposal to send immigrants from Texas border to Cambridge, Martha’s Vineyard, and Nantucket

"He’s wasting resources on lame political stunts."

Sen. Ted Cruz answers questions from reporters Tuesday at the U.S. Capitol. OLIVIER DOULIERY/AFP via Getty Images

Sen. Ted Cruz’s stunt proposal Tuesday to send all undocumented immigrants to newly created ports of entry in Democrat-led communities like Cambridge, Martha’s Vineyard, and Nantucket has gone largely ignored by the elected officials it seemed intended to irk.

However, the Texas Republican did get a response from one Massachusetts congressman.

“Why is it that whenever Ted Cruz is facing a crisis in Texas his mind seems to wander to vacation destinations? First it was Cancun, now it’s Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard,” Rep. Bill Keating, who represents the Cape and Islands, tweeted Tuesday night, referring to Cruz’s infamous family trip to Cancun earlier this year while his state was dealing with a storm-induced power crisis.

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“Last week he voted to default on our nation’s debt, now he’s wasting resources on lame political stunts,” Keating added.

Cruz had introduced his so-called Stop the SURGE Act on Tuesday, as part of an ostensible effort to provide relief to Border Patrol agents dealing with the recent upswell in migrants, largely from Haiti, at the Texas border and to “require insulated communities to help shoulder the burdens of their preferred open-border policies.”

According to Congress’s online database, the bill has zero cosponsors.

It suggests creating 13 new ports of entry from scratch. In addition to Cambridge, Martha’s Vineyard, and Nantucket, it also lists Newport and Block Island in Rhode Island; Greenwich, Connecticut; several communities in New York and California; Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, where President Biden vacations; and North Hero, Vermont, where Sen. Bernie Sanders owns a lake house.

The bill says any Department of Homeland Security officials that encounter an immigrant in Texas who has illegally entered the United States would be required to transfer them to one of the newly created ports. Officials would not be able to grant any asylum or issue any legal authorizations allowing an individual to remain in the country until they had arrived at one of those ports.

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The bill would also take effect immediately, though it includes no details around the logistics of creating new processing sites and transporting migrants thousands of miles.

The proposal also elicited a response from Rep. Jim Langevin, a Rhode Island Democrat who chastised Cruz over the bill.

“These kind of bad-faith proposals do nothing to fix our broken immigration system,” Langevin tweeted. “Get serious and quit the childish games.”

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