Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has had to tweak a so-called disaster declaration he issued at the beginning of the month that claims an immigration “crisis” at the southern border, removing four Rio Grande Valley counties that refused to participate in his stunt, local advocates said. In total, 11 counties have been removed from the document, while a number of others have been added, Border Report said.
“Nothing says ‘this is a real disaster’ like the phrase ‘county leaders have chosen to participate in this partnership, which is reflected in this amended disaster declaration,’” American Immigration Council policy counsel Aaron Reichlin-Melnick dryly tweeted. “’Cause we all know the best disaster is the one we choose to participate in!” I mean, where is the lie, folks?
“Migrant advocate organizations and residents have repeatedly pressured local officials in the Rio Grande Valley to not go along with Abbott’s plans, and some saw Abbott’s revised plans as a step in the right direction,” Border Report said.
“For weeks, @LUPE_rgv and allies have demanded all 4 RGV counties NOT cooperate with Abbott’s border disaster declaration. Now, all four RGV counties are OUT of the disaster declaration. County judges listened to border residents, agreeing with us: there is no border crisis,” La Unión del Pueblo Entero (LUPE) organizer Danny Diaz wrote in a Twitter thread. “Over 1,200 RGV residents and all of the county judges said no. And now Abbott has removed the RGV from the disaster declaration list. So, why is Gov. Abbott even coming here this Wed? There is NO place for political stunts at the expense of our community.”
Diaz is referencing another stunt Abbott is set to hold with the previous president at the southern border on Wednesday, because nothing says I’m super serious about this topic like bringing that guy out. Abbott also has a Very Serious plan to complete a portion of that president’s stupid border wall, claiming he’ll take $250 million in Texan taxpayer funds, and crowdfund for the rest. Abbott has also put out a "request for help" from other governors—and some are also cynically joining in on the stunts.
South Dakota’s Kristi Noem announced on Tuesday that she’s sending up to 50 National Guard to the border, “paid for by a private donation.” Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is also sending local and state law enforcement, apparently leaving the scene of the horrific Surfside building collapse to see off the deployment, Salon reported this week. “Ron DeSantis is campaigning for president instead of doing his job,” tweeted local activist Thomas Kennedy. Facing a primary challenger who might be even more right-wing than he is, Abbott would love to keep shitting on immigrants, so this is the point where I’m going to stop talking about immigration and talk about what Abbott doesn’t want to talk about.
“The Texas electric grid is in crisis,” America’s Voice said on Tuesday. “But instead of leaping into action to shore up the outdated and underfunded system, Texas Governor Greg Abbott is holding a series of campaign stunts with Donald Trump and GOP House Members to promote his plan to divert $250 million of taxpayer money to build an ineffective border wall. Tomorrow’s media blitz comes two weeks after Texas residents were asked to conserve electricity for the third straight day as power outages plagued 2.4 million homes across the state—a direct result of the power grid unable to keep up with demand in the extreme summer heat.”
“Further, Abbott’s decision to use $250 million of taxpayer money for a border wall comes as thousands of Texans were charged tens of thousands of dollars in utility bills [emphasis by America’s Voice] after price spikes during February’s winter storm and the Public Utility Commission of Texas chose to let the charges stand,” the immigrant rights organization continued. They note the cases of a number of Texans including U.S. military veteran Scott Willoughby. The Dallas resident “had to empty his savings account to pay a $16,752 electricity bill—70 times what he usually pays for all of his utilities combined.” Another resident, Katrina Tanner, was charged more than $6,000 in February, “more than five times what she paid in all of 2020,” the group said.
”Governor Greg Abbott says Texas will spend $250,000,000 on a ‘down payment’ for a state border wall,” tweeted Sawyer Hackett, an adviser for former San Antonio mayor and 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Julián Castro. “He’s also asking for donations of land and cash. The state has spent $0 to help Texans pay the $18B surge in utility bills.”