- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Republican Sen. Ted Cruz thrust the issue of illegal immigration to the forefront of his race with Rep. Beto O’rourke, releasing a new television ad painting his Democratic challenger as weak on border security.

Mr. Cruz is locked in a closer-than-anticipated race with Mr. O’Rourke, who is challenging the notion that a liberal Democrat cannot win statewide in Texas and has pulled even in the race, according to a poll released Wednesday.

The Cruz ad takes aim at Mr. O’Rourke’s stance on immigration and highlights news headlines about illegal immigrants that were accused of carrying out heinous crimes, including murder and sexual assault, after being deported multiple times from the United States.

“But Beto O’Rourke said crossing the border illegally should not be a crime, and said he is quote open to abolishing ICE,” the narrator says in the “Deported” ad.

The narrator says Mr. Cruz took the lead on the issue after an illegal immigrant was charged with — but later acquitted of — killing Kate Steinle, the 32-year-old woman killed while walking the San Francisco waterfront with her father in 2015.

“He introduced Kate’s Law, to impose tough penalties on criminals who sneak into our country over and over again,” the narrator says. “We need a leader to stop the chaos at the border.”

A Reuters/Ipsos/UVA Center for Politics Poll released Wednesday found Mr. O’Rourke with a 2 percentage point lead over Mr. Cruz among likely voters.

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