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

Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzTrade deal talks expand as Congress debates tech legal shield Sanders meets with MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred Cruz knocks Chick-fil-A over past donation: It has 'lost its way' MORE (R-Texas) said on Wednesday that it would be "devastating" if President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump says he will 'temporarily hold off' on declaring Mexican drug cartels as terror organization House Judiciary Committee formally receives impeachment report Artist behind gold toilet offered to Trump sells banana duct-taped to a wall for 0,000 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 ThuneCongress races to beat deadline on shutdown Hillicon Valley: House passes anti-robocall bill | Senators inch forward on privacy legislation | Trump escalates fight over tech tax | Illinois families sue TikTok | Senators get classified briefing on ransomware Senators inch forward on federal privacy bill MORE (R-S.D.), the No. 2 Senate Republican, told reporters this week. 

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellOvernight Energy: Pelosi vows bold action to counter 'existential' climate threat | Trump jokes new light bulbs don't make him look as good | 'Forever chemicals' measure pulled from defense bill Overnight Health Care — Presented by Johnson & Johnson – House progressives may try to block vote on Pelosi drug bill | McConnell, Grassley at odds over Trump-backed drug pricing bill | Lawmakers close to deal on surprise medical bills GOP senators request interview with former DNC contractor to probe possible Ukraine ties 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."