Cruz: 'Devastating' if Trump closes U.S.-Mexico border

Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzOvernight Defense: US launches another airstrike in Somalia | Amendment to expand Pentagon recusal period added to NDAA | No. 2 State Dept. official to lead nuclear talks with Russia No. 2 State Dept. official to lead nuclear talks with Russia next week Here's evidence the Senate confirmation process is broken MORE (R-Texas) said on Wednesday that it would be "devastating" if President TrumpDonald TrumpRonny Jackson, former White House doctor, predicts Biden will resign McCarthy: Pelosi appointing members of Jan. 6 panel who share 'pre-conceived narrative' Kinzinger denounces 'lies and conspiracy theories' while accepting spot on Jan. 6 panel MORE closes the U.S.-Mexico border, joining a chorus of Republicans pushing back against the idea. 

"Closing the border to legal commerce would be devastating to Texas. Millions of jobs, in Texas and across the country, depend upon trade with Mexico, and the federal government shouldn’t do anything to jeopardize those jobs," Cruz said in a statement. 

He added that while the United States needs to "secure the border," Trump shouldn't punish individuals "who are legally crossing the border." 

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"The answer is not to punish Texas farmers and ranchers and manufacturers and small businesses. Closing legal points of entry would harm American commerce and legal transit between Mexico and the United States, and leave coyotes and human traffickers to roam free in the wilderness of our unsecured border," Cruz continued. 

Trump set off alarm bells on Capitol Hill after he told reporters that he would either shut down the border or "close large sections of the border" if Congress doesn't pass stricter immigration laws. 

"A lot of us don't think that closing the border is a good idea, and hopefully he'll come to that conclusion too," Sen. John ThuneJohn Randolph ThuneFrustration builds as infrastructure talks drag On The Money: Senate braces for nasty debt ceiling fight | Democrats pushing for changes to bipartisan deal | Housing prices hit new high in June Transit funding, broadband holding up infrastructure deal MORE (R-S.D.), the No. 2 Senate Republican, told reporters this week. 

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellGrassley pressured to run as Democrats set sights on Iowa House Democrats grow frustrated as they feel ignored by Senate Democrats question GOP shift on vaccines MORE (R-Ky.) separately told reporters that closing the southern border would have a "potentially catastrophic economic impact." 

Trump backpedaled on Tuesday evening, saying that Mexico is now helping apprehend migrants. 

"I really wanted to close it. But now Mexico is saying, 'No, no, no.' First time in decades," Trump said during remarks at the National Republican Congressional Committee's annual spring dinner.

Cruz added in his statement on Wednesday that Democrats needed to support funding for the U.S.-Mexico border wall and close "loopholes" in the U.S. asylum system. 

"Our broken immigration system and years of unwillingness to secure our southern border has produced a security and humanitarian crisis. Human traffickers, drug traffickers, and criminal cartels are responsible for suffering and misery and death," he said. "And Democratic obstructionism — fueled by a partisan hatred for President Trump —has blocked Congress from fixing the problem."