Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, took advantage of a Senate hearing yesterday to draw a link between the dramatic spike in unaccompanied minors crossing the border and policies enacted by the Obama administration.

In response to testimony from Jeh Johnson, Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, Cruz pointed out the damage done by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program enacted by the administration.

“Midway through 2012 was when the administration unilaterally granted amnesty to some 800,000 people who had been minors, with the so-called DACA proceeding,” Cruz said. “And, you can see sometime after that, the numbers spike dramatically. Is it really our testimony that granting amnesty to some 800,000 people who came here illegally as children had no effect in causing a dramatic increase of children being handed over to international drug cartels to be smuggled in here illegally?”

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Cruz told Johnson to look closely at what the numbers represent:

“These numbers represent children. Little boys and little girls, their parents are handing them over, not to some noble social worker trying to help them. They are handing them over to international, global criminal cartels that smuggle human beings in. They put kids, among other places, on top of fast-moving freight trains. They are criminals who assault, sexually assault,and sometimes murder these children.”

Cruz even read a letter from one of his constituents:

“I live on a Brooks County ranch with my wife. In 2012, 129 bodies of deceased illegal aliens were found in our county on private ranch land. Most of those bodies were found within 15 minutes of our front door in any given direction. We believe these bodies represent only 20-25 percent of the actual number of illegal immigrants dying in this area… In one week of last July, I personally rescued 15 people (most were Central Americans) that were lost and close to dying from dehydration and heat exhaustion. That same week I found a deceased person that had been laid across a dirt road in order to be found. He was a 31-year-old man from El Salvador.”

Cruz urged Johnson to pass this information on to the president as the administration presently contemplates issuing another amnesty. “I think that will be contrary to rule of law, and I think granting yet another amnesty would result in those numbers going even higher … in even more little girls and little boys being subjected to violence and horrific, dangerous conditions,” Cruz said. “It would be a serious mistake for us to go down that road.”

>>> Advancing the Immigration Nation: Heritage’s Positive Path to Immigration and Border Security Reform