Fresh off threatening to further displace vulnerable children who fled from Central America to the U.S. in search of asylum, full-time troll and part-time Texas Gov. Greg Abbott is now claiming he’ll complete the previous president’s useless and racist border wall and will order local law enforcement to begin arresting migrants who have crossed into the state.
Houston Chronicle reports that experts say Abbott’s plan to arrest migrants “is legally dubious.” Like former senior Border Patrol agent turned whistleblower Jenn Budd tweeted, “immigration is a federal issue.” But since when has any Republican given a shit about the legality of anything, especially when it’s just to score some political points at the expense of immigrants?
CNN reports that Laredo Mayor Pete Saenz said Abbott didn’t explain to state lawmakers how exactly he’d legally roll out his plan, but said “his understanding is that the border wall, the fence or the border barrier would become the basis for arresting migrants—with the damage to the fence used as proof of the trespassing of private property,” the report said. Houston Chronicle reports Arizona Republicans already tried something pretty similar to this. That effort was squashed by the Supreme Court in 2012.
So what the fuck is the Texas Republican doing? The Border Network for Human Rights nails it in a statement received by Daily Kos, saying that “Governor Abbott’s proposition is a ridiculous piece of political theater that outsources the costs to advance his racist agenda to Texas taxpayers.” The organization further calls his plan “nothing but a dog-and-pony show where we all lose.” Ding, ding, ding, and ding. But among those who stand to lose the most from Greg’s ongoing shenanigans and stunts are the most vulnerable.
Like previously noted here at Daily Kos, Abbott’s directive ordering the closure of Health and Human Services-contracted facilities that hold unaccompanied children until they can be safely placed with a sponsor (usually a U.S. relative) could affect up to 4,000 kids. Because of Abbott, children may end up back in unlicensed temporary facilities, or may even have to remain for longer periods of time in unsafe Customs and Border Protection facilities. The Biden administration has said it’ll be prepared to sue Texas if Abbott’s plan proceeds.
Texas has some serious problems to deal with, but that would require some actual governing, wouldn’t it? “In response to hundreds of Texans dying due to power loss during this year's freeze, Greg Abbott did absolutely nothing to address our power grid to ensure it doesn't happen again,” tweeted Mario Carrillo, a Texas-based campaign manager for America’s Voice. “Instead, he's trying to distract Texans by pushing for a border wall.” Carrillo further notes that Abbott is continuing his demonization of immigrant communities after the deadly El Paso shooting by a white supremacist terrorist. Abbott is “a charlatan and wannabe Trump because he's up for reelection,” Carrillo continued. “Shameful.”
Abbott’s stupidity is unfortunately spreading. On Friday, California Republican gubernatorial candidate Caitlyn Jenner also claimed she wants to complete the useless and racist border wall. ABC 7 News reports that Jenner wants to take high speed rail funds to finish barriers in the state. Lord, beer me strength. In a statement received by Daily Kos, American Civil Liberties Union of Texas staff attorney Kate Huddleston said Abbott’s plan “is unlawful and threatens to once again rip families apart at the border, causing untold harm.”
“As we saw under President Trump, separating families by prosecuting parents creates lasting trauma for vulnerable young children and for their parents,” Huddleston said. “Abbott is also undermining the right to seek asylum by jailing those fleeing danger and punishing them for seeking refuge in the U.S. Additionally, Abbott’s proposed border wall will harm border communities and the environment. In this plan, Abbott is yet again scapegoating immigrants in an effort to distract from his own failures in governing and managing actual crises in Texas—like the historic winter storm that led to the deaths of more than 150 Texans—with cruel results.”