The Star News Network has identified the Biden administration official repeatedly blocking the camera shot of Sen. Ted Cruz (R.-Texas) as he filmed the migrant conditions at the U.S. Customs and Border detention facility in Donna, Texas as Sigrid Gonzales.
That Gonzales is the woman in the video and a senior advisor to Troy Miller, the senior official performing the duties of the CBP Commissioner, was confirmed by a Capitol Hill source familiar with the Cruz delegation’s visit with the Donna facility.
“Please respect these people, the rules,” Gonzales said to Cruz. “This is not a zoo,” as she moved left and right with Cruz to interfere with him as he tried to capture video of the migrants piled into cramped pens.
On the video you hear Cruz: “You keep standing in front of the picture. You don’t want the picture taken. The rules are arbitrary and designed to keep the American people in the dark.”
How far is Joe Biden going to stop the American people from seeing inside the Donna CBP facility?
Biden sent a political operative from DC to block our cameras and even threatened another senator to obstruct legitimate congressional oversight. pic.twitter.com/vHT2U7Nh1z
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) March 28, 2021
The Star reached out to CBP for comment regarding Gonzales, her role with the senators and the rules that she said Cruz was violating. There was no response by press time.
Cruz led a delegation of 19 GOP senators to the Mexican border with Texas, in the region known as the Rio Grande Valley. In a letter to President Joseph R. Biden Jr., the senator described how he requested the president open up the border to reporters and cameramen.
“Not only did you refuse, you actively worked to prevent the American public from seeing what we saw,” he wrote.
“When I took pictures of to show the American people the conditions at the Donna facility (after blurring all faces to protect the privacy of the individuals held there), a political appointee sent by your administration jumped in front of my camera to stop me from doing my job,” he wrote.
Cruz said Gonzales also got strong with another senator taking pictures.
“She threatened another senator that if he did not delete his pictures, the entire delegation would be kicked out and prevented from conducting our constitutional oversight role,” he wrote.
Gonzales, who describes herself on LinkedIn as “Humanitarian Response Advocate,” served as a Capitol Hill staffer for Texas Democrats Rep. Filemón Bartolomé Vela and Rep. Silvestre Reyes from 2012 to 2013, where she coordinated between those offices and the federal Office of Refugee Resettlement. In 2013, she joined the Obama administration as a special advisor to CPB until January 2017.
In June 2018, Gonzalez joined El Paso’s Annunciation House, where she led that organization’s logistical support to up to 5,000 migrants weekly crossing into that city from Mexico.
At his March 27 press conference, the senator said he witnessed squalid conditions and severe overcrowding that the Biden administration is trying to cover up.
“The Donna facility is a giant tent city, built with a capacity of 250– it has nearly 4,000 people in it,” he said.
“We saw cages after cages of little girls and little boys, lying side by side, touching each other, covered with reflective emergency blankets. There was no 6-foot space, there was no 3-foot space, there wasn’t a 3-inch space between the children lined up one after the other after the other,” he said.
Cruz also said many of the children held at the Donna facility have tested positive for COVID-19.
After Donna, the Cruz delegation of senators is going to the Kay Bailey Hutchinson Convention Center to inspect the conditions of the migrants held there, including the 3,000 unaccompanied minors, he said.
“A number of us are releasing those photographs and releasing those videos, so the American people can see what’s happening here,” Cruz said.
“This needs to stop. It is a crisis, it is a tragedy, and it is a man-made crisis. This was avoidable, this was preventable, and regardless of your party – Republican or Democrat – you should look at what’s going on here, and say: ‘Enough is enough.'”
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Neil W. McCabe is a Washington-based national political reporter for The Tennessee Star and The Star News Network. In addition to the Star Newspaper, he has covered the White House, Capitol Hill and national politics for One America News, Breitbart, Human Events and Townhall. Before coming to Washington, he was a staff reporter for Boston’s Catholic paper, The Pilot, and the editor of two Boston-area community papers, The Somerville News and The Alewife. McCabe is a public affairs NCO in the Army Reserve and he deployed for 15 months to Iraq as a combat historian.