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‘I salute Donald Trump’ on immigration, Cruz says

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz voiced support Sunday for embattled fellow Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, who has drawn widespread criticism for statements he made last month about Mexican immigrants.

On NBC’s “Meet the Press” Sunday, Cruz expressed admiration for the business magnate’s outspokenness on immigration, and criticized media coverage of Trump’s remarks.

“I salute Donald Trump for focusing on the need to address illegal immigration,” Cruz said told host Chuck Todd.

“He has a colorful way of speaking,” Cruz added. “It’s not the way I speak, but I’m not going to engage in the media’s game of throwing rocks and attacking other Republicans.”

In a June 16 speech announcing his presidential run, Trump said of Mexican immigrants, “They are bringing drugs. They are bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.”

Trump, himself the son of a Scottish immigrant, has stood by his statements, even as a series of companies cut ties with him.

Both Trump and Cruz support a legal path to immigration, advocate for strong border security and denounce so-called amnesty policies that provide a path to citizenship for immigrants living in the United States without documentation.

“The Washington cartel supports amnesty,” Cruz said Sunday. “The Washington cartel does not support securing our borders.”