While campaigning in Iowa on Thursday, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) told an immigrant from Mexico that he would deport her if he became president, according to a Washington Post report.
In video of the incident posted to YouTube, a woman identified by the Post as 30-year-old special needs worker and activist Ofelia Valdez asked Cruz how she should feel about his hardline stance on immigration.
“I think of myself as a part of this community and you know, first day of presidency, you decide to deport, you know, people like myself, you know, it’s just very difficult,” said Valdez.
Valdez said she benefited from President Barack Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which is intended to protect immigrants from deportation if they were brought to the United States illegally as children.
Cruz, nodding sympathetically, replied that she still bore responsibility for her parents’ decision.
“If you’re a DACA recipient, you were brought here illegally, and violating the law has consequences,” the Texas senator said. “One of the problems of our broken immigration system is that it is creating human tragedies and there are human tragedies when people break the law.”
Cruz has accused Obama of acting like a “monarch” rather than a president for passing executive actions on immigration.
Watch the video of Cruz’s conversation with Valdez below, via DNCClips.