This week, I was proud to address the Latino Coalition Legislative Summit where I shared my family’s experience living under brutal dictatorships in Cuba and their journey to our great nation. The story of America is a story of risking everything for freedom. Because of stories like my family’s and others throughout America, we have created a diverse society dedicated to protecting the liberties we all enjoy under the Constitution. What we have here in America is unique—and it is very much worth fighting for.

Unfortunately, we continue to see a political crisis unfold in Venezuela. This week, in a hearing on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, I raised concerns regarding the six CITGO employees, including five Texans, who Nicolás Maduro has illegitimately detained on false charges. I urged my colleagues to take swift action to secure their safe return to the United States. Maduro’s regime must be held accountable. I have introduced a bill that would cut off Maduro’s unlawful trade in gold and precious metals and hold accountable banks, organizations, and countries that conduct precious metal transactions with oppressive regimes. We must apply pressure and put an end to Maduro’s illicit gold and precious metals trade, and we must work ceaselessly to secure the release of the detained U.S. citizens.

I was pleased to welcome Laredo City Mayor Pete Saenz, members of the Laredo City Council, and the Laredo Chamber of Commerce to our nation’s capital to discuss the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement and border security. I remain committed to working with President Trump and my colleagues in Congress to secure a trade agreement that benefits Texas and puts American jobs first.

We have a continuing crisis at our border, one that Texas experiences first hand. On Wednesday, in a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on border security, Commissioner McAleenan of U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) testified on the effectiveness of building a wall to secure our Texas-Mexico border to prevent illegal immigration and human trafficking. Commissioner McAleenan’s testimony affirmed my concerns, and I will continue to lead the fight to secure the border and keep our communities safe.

Senator Ted Cruz

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