‘We’re more a of a mudslide island’: RI lawmakers react to Cruz’s plan to combat illegal border crossings

Politics

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — “Keep Rhode Island’s name out of your mouth.”

That’s what Congressman Jim Langevin had to say about Texas Sen. Ted Cruz’s suggestion to make Block Island and Newport ports of entry for illegal immigrants.

Cruz’s “Stop the Surge Act” would establish 13 new ports of entry across the country in an attempt to “address the surge in illegal border crossings” in his state.

Those ports of entry include two locations in Rhode Island, as well as Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket, where Cruz claims “Democrat elites host their cocktail parties.”

“So rich Democrats can be sitting there and suddenly see 10, 20, 30, 50 thousand illegal immigrants, like we’re seeing in Texas on a daily basis, and I can just envision them sipping a martini saying, ‘Oh goodness, they want to come to our clubs!’ They would be horrified,” Cruz said on Fox News Tuesday.

“I’m flattered that he thinks we’re drinking martinis out here, but we’re more of a mudslide island,” Rhode Island House Minority Leader Blake Filippi joked.

Filippi, a Republican who represents Block Island, doesn’t think Cruz’s idea is practical.

“Texas suffers a burden because of its proximity to Mexico, it’s definitely a drain on a lot of things in their state, and I get it, I do think the border needs to be fixed, but it’s kind of, just a joke I think, to make a point,” he continued.

Langevin didn’t mince words in his response to Cruz’s legislation.

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

Gov. Dan McKee said during his media briefing Tuesday that Cruz hasn’t contacted him directly to discuss his proposal.

“I know Rhode Island will do its part relative to Afghan refugees, we’ll certainly do our part where we can,” McKee said. “Other than that, I don’t have a real good comment that is polite at this point in time.”

According to government data, illegal border crossings were at a 21-year high this past summer. Cruz said his plan would provide much-needed relief to Border Patrol and Texas law enforcement agencies.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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