At U.S. border, GOP senators slam Biden, lament 'tragedy' of immigration crisis

Ted Cruz criticizes Biden media blackout.

Multiple GOP senators toured the U.S. southern border in Texas on Friday amid the ongoing immigration crisis, later slamming the Biden administration's immigration policies, among which are a near-total media blackout of immigration facilities and conditions there. 

Texas Senators Ted Cruz and John Cornyn at a press conference following the tour offered sharp criticism of President Joe Biden's handling of the crisis, in which thousands of illegal immigrants, including reportedly thousands of children, are being housed in federal facilities amid a massive surge of border crossings. 

Cornyn slammed the Biden administration's recently implemented "catch-and-release" policy in which illegal immigrants are allowed to reside in the U.S. while waiting for hearings before a judge. 

"The smugglers, the frontrunners, they understand our laws and they know how to exploit them to their benefit," Cornyn said. "So ending catch-and-release, making sure people with legitimate claims get to present them to an immigration judge, I think should be a priority."

Cruz later offered condemnation of the Biden administration's reportedly dire housing conditions of immigrant children. 

"All of us today witnessed the Biden cages," Cruz said. "What is occurring here on the border is heartbreaking and it is a tragedy."

Touching on the media blackout, Cruz added: "As we stand by the banks of the Rio Grande, we have an army of TV cameras here. It is striking that not a single one of these cameras is allowed in [a nearby] facility."

Pressed at a press conference earlier this week on when the media blackout would be lifted on those facilities, Biden admitted: "I don't know."