Governor Abbott's Border Gambit: Politics Over People
As we stand at the intersection of immigration policy and moral responsibility, Governor Abbott's border policies come at a high price.
As reported by Texas Public Radio (TPR) today, “Three migrants drowned in the Rio Grande after Texas blocked Border Patrol from rescue.” The victims of this drowning were a woman and two children. TPR confirmed that “agents prevented the US Border Patrol from deploying lifesaving efforts with Operation Lone Star.”
This comes on the heels of Abbott’s latest political stunt. Early yesterday morning, Abbott signed an order for the Texas National Guard to seize Shelby Park and 2.5 miles along the border in Eagle Pass. The city of Eagle Pass did not authorize them to take the land, and the community members were furious. Only one day before that, Abbott said on the Dana Loesch Show that the only thing stopping Texas from shooting and murdering migrants at the border was legal ramifications from the Biden Administration.
Here is a detailed account of what happened today from a press release by Congressman Henry Cullear (D):
“However, Texas Military Department soldiers stated they would not grant access to the migrants—even in the event of an emergency —and would send a soldier to investigate the situation.”
The Texas National Guard knew these people were drowning, and they let them drown.
They were just following Greg Abbott’s orders.
Also today, FoxNews reporter Griff Jenkins captured the Texas National Guard blocking migrants from requesting asylum at an entry point near the International Bridge frequently used for crossing. They used riot shields to push people back, including women and children. In one video, they’re seen tossing a man to the ground.
You can see the videos here.
It keeps going.
Around that same time, Ali Bradley from News Nation posted a video of the Texas National Guard Soldiers deploying a command post in Shelby Park.
What’s Greg Abbott’s end game?
Not one of his stunts will stop the flow of migrants to America. All it’s doing is causing chaos. If the Texas National Guard “captures” an undocumented migrant who just crossed, under federal law, they are required to hand over the person to Border Patrol. Then, the Border Patrol processes the migrants and determines whether to detain them, transfer them to another agency, deport them, or release them into the country, pending a court hearing.
It’s all a political show.
At what cost? Billions more of taxpayer dollars and human life. The far-right is salivating for blood, and Abbott is throwing them big, huge chunks of red meat.
As a woman and two children died, they applauded.
On February 28, 2021—Joe Biden introduced a massive 353-page immigration bill.
Republicans in Congress blocked it. They refused to negotiate. Instead, this year they gave us HR2, which is a shit bill that builds a wall, ends DACA and deports children.
Even today, as Senator Chuck Schumer (D) and Senator James Lankford (R) come to a bipartisan deal on the border, far-right Republicans in the House are already vocal about their intentions to block it.
Republicans are entirely unserious about solutions for mass migration.
Early last year, The Economist predicted high mass migration to America, so it should be no surprise. We’ve seen a dramatic shift in immigration due to humanitarian displacement, labor mobility patterns, and other factors. Considering that immigration is a hot topic in politics and has been over the last decade, it only shows that acting in reactionary measures doesn’t do anything.
Democrats offer solutions over and over again, while Republicans refuse to budge.
They want to deport all ten million undocumented people in America in one swoop.
Of course, they don’t think these things through. Agriculture, construction, and other services would come to a standstill. It would tank our economy. And way too many families have mixed status; deporting millions of people like that would be widespread family separation, leading to widespread psychological trauma within communities.
Then, mass deportations raise significant moral and ethical questions regarding the treatment of individuals who have built lives in the US, many of whom have fled violence or poverty in their home countries.
The better thing to do would be to streamline the immigration process and give them a pathway to citizenship. If they are good people and contribute to society, why not?
The morality of it all.
Last week, Texas turned down $350 million in summer food assistance for children.
Summer EBT provides families with $120 per eligible child for the summer to buy food at grocery stores, farmers’ markets, or other authorized retailers. Texas said they didn’t have the resources to implement the program.
Not only does Texas have an $18.6 billion surplus, but they’ve also spent over $12 billion on Operation Lone Star, the wall, and other border activity.
Operation Lone Star has not stopped mass migration to this country. In fact, migration has only increased.
Yet, Governor Greg Abbott couldn’t be bothered to divert the resources to Health and Human Services to ensure that hungry Texas kids had something to eat in the summer. It matters even more when you know that Texas has one of the highest rates of child food insecurity in the nation, at over 20%, or almost 1.6 million children.
Our taxpayer dollars are going to kill women and children on the border when they could go to feeding hungry children.
The Pro-Life Party has fooled so many.
There is nothing pro-life about Governor Abbott’s border stunts that have led to even more deaths of more migrants. It isn’t pro-life to keep food from hungry children. But this is where we are in the culture wars.
The unfolding events at the border are almost certain to continue to escalate. The rhetoric of safety and security is overshadowed by the realities of human suffering and neglect. The GOP’s refusal to engage in meaningful dialogue or consider bipartisan immigration reforms continues to leave us without a solution that could address both immigration challenges and domestic needs effectively.
Greg Abbott and his supporters have chosen their values and priorities. The cost of their choices can be measured in both dollars and human life. Abbott’s actions this week should give plenty of people moments of introspection, questioning the morality of GOP decisions.
In the Republican culture wars, where is the line drawn between retaining power and acting humanely?
The answer to this question will define the future of Texas and American immigration. In the process, we must ask ourselves what kind of state we want to be. One that upholds the principles of compassion and justice or sacrifices humanity for political gain.
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