LYNCHBURG, Va. – Republican Senator Ted Cruz announced his bid for the White House today in a speech delivered during a student convocation at Liberty University, the largest Christian university in the world, located in Lynchburg, Virginia. Senator Cruz spoke before a packed auditorium, saying he wants to “reignite the promise of America.”
Following the first of many standing ovations, Mr. Cruz, who is a vocal opponent of Obama’s immigration policies, told the evangelical audience that if he is elected President he will “rebuild American immigration policy from the ground up.” To start, the senator said he will immediately halt Obama’s proposed plan to grant amnesty to the roughly 20 million undocumented aliens currently residing in the United States.
Back in 2012 Senator Cruz said he would support deploying American troops along the U.S.-Mexican border, but today he laid out a new plan for border security, one that he says will “significantly reduce the cost to American taxpayers.” The first phase of the senator’s immigration strategy, following the liquidation of the amnesty program, is to mine the 1,989 mile long border between the U.S. and Mexico. “We’ve got over eleven million land mines sitting in storage, paid for by taxpayers like yourselves,” Cruz told the audience, adding, “It’s time we put them to use.”
In 1997 the United States signed the Convention on the Prohibition and Use, Stockpiling, Production, and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and On Their Destruction, otherwise known as the Mine Ban Treaty. However, the U.S. continues to maintain a stockpile of an estimated 11.3 million anti-personnel mines and has admitted to deploying a number of them along the DMZ that separates North and South Korea.
Senator Cruz said the deployment of mines along the border would help free up manpower for other national security issues and also serve as a deterrent to those who might be planning to cross into the United States illegally. “If we grant people citizenship who came here illegally,” Cruz told supporters, “we’re doing a disservice to others, people like my father, Rafael Bienvenido Cruz, who did the right thing by coming here legally.”
The senator’s 74-year-old father, Rafael, immigrated to the United States from Cuba in 1957. Prior to a short stint in a Cuban prison, Rafael Cruz fought with Fidel Castro’s communist forces against the U.S.-backed Cuban government. According to Ted Cruz, his father “was a guerilla, throwing Molotov Cocktails and blowing up buildings.”
The junior senator from Texas is the first major presidential candidate to officially declare his run for office in 2016.