Ted Cruz drew approximately a dozen hecklers while speaking at the Values Voters Summit on Friday. The hecklers all tried to ask Cruz why the Texas senator, who is the son of a Cuban immigrant, did not support immigration reform or as the first heckler asked, “a pathway to citizenship.” The hecklers, scattered throughout the audience started by interrupting Cruz’s speech one at a time every few minutes. Eventually, the remaining protestors finally all stood up at one time. None were able to get out more than a sentence before being removed from the room by security as the crowd chanted “USA, USA, USA.” Cruz jibed on stage that the hecklers were all part of the President Obama’s political staff and that the Organizing for America offices must be empty today.
One of the hecklers, Salvador Cervantes, a Mexican immigrant from Arlington, Virginia who has lived in the United States for 28 years, told the Daily Beast that he was there as an activist with the Fair Immigration Reform Movement. Cervantes, a U.S. citizen who mentioned that other protestors were DREAMers, said that he say this “a an opportunity to ask Cruz about immigration. He had tried to schedule a meeting with Cruz and visited his office a number of times to no avail. At this point, Cervantes said he thought his best bet was simply to pay $75 to register for the Values Voter Summit and try to shout his question from the audience.
Cruz never did address comprehensive immigration reform in his speech, but after the hecklers had been removed from the audience, he spoke about the United States as a nation of immigrants.