HARLINGEN, Texas (AP) — U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz is making just his second visit to the 1,200-mile Texas-Mexico border since taking office nearly 16 months ago.

The tea party favorite is addressing the Harlingen Chamber of Commerce Thursday before heading to Laredo for a roundtable with Mayor Raul Salinas.

Cruz last visited the border in September for three events in McAllen and Mission.

He’s frequently mentioned as a possible 2016 White House hopeful. But Cruz had been criticized in Democratic circles for visiting Iowa, which kicks off presidential voting, four times while only coming to the Texas-Mexico border once.

Last year, a Cruz proposal to triple the number of border patrol agents and quadruple the equipment used along the U.S.-Mexico border, including drones and helicopters, didn’t make it to a Senate floor vote.

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