Every story about our immigration system—and Republicans’ ongoing efforts to turn it into an episode of “Squid Game” instead of proposing laws to fix it—should really begin with a disclaimer or two: 1) We clearly need more immigration, not less and 2) Republicans will never do anything to make the system work better, because if there’s little left to complain about, Donald Trump’s suggestions that we build alligator-filled moats, shoot migrants in the legs, and/or let him secretly hire undocumented workers he can exploit for enormous profit might seem kind of silly. And of course, if GOP voters ever run out of outrage they might eventually stop to wonder why we’re still the only major industrialized country in the world without universal health care. And we certainly can’t have that.
So the “crisis” continues, with Southern GOP governors trying to one-up each other on the cruelty continuum until that inevitable day when one of them goes way too far, permanently scandalizing the electorate by sending a busload of confused immigrants to Branson, Missouri, to see Yakov Smirnoff do comedy.
Well, we’re rapidly approaching that moment because Texas Gov. Greg Abbott just did something that defies belief. Even for him.
RELATED STORY: Ron DeSantis joins Greg Abbott in finding new ways to murder poor, desperate border migrants
Take a long Texas look at this happy horseshit, why don’t you?
For the nontweeters:
LOS ANGELES MAYOR KAREN BASS: This evening, Los Angeles received another bus from Texas.
That means that while we were urging Angelenos to stay safe, the Governor of Texas was sending a bus with families and toddlers straight towards us KNOWING they’d have to drive right into an unprecedented storm.
Bass expanded on that tweet with a statement she made Monday night: “It is evil to endanger the lives of vulnerable migrants by sending a bus with families and toddlers on board to a city that at the time was under an unprecedented tropical storm warning,” Bass stated. “As I stood with state and local leaders warning Angelenos to stay safe and brace themselves for the worst of the coming storm, the Governor of Texas sent families and toddlers straight for us on a path through extreme weather conditions. If anybody understands the danger of hurricanes and thunderstorms, it’s the Governor of Texas—who has to deal with this threat on an annual basis. This is a despicable act beyond politics.”
Yup. To be fair, Republicans have been cartoonishly evil for some time, but we’re starting to drift into sharks-with-frickin’-laser-beams-attached-to-their-heads territory now. Are the striking Hollywood writers sending Abbott the James Bond villain plots they’d rejected as far too cruel and outlandish, because knowingly sending toddlers into the maw of a hurricane sure as shit qualifies.
Meanwhile, some Texas residents who initially welcomed Abbott’s draconian nonsense are having second thoughts, according to The New York Times. The Times spoke with a pecan farmer named Hugo Urbina who lives near the border and was concerned by what he regarded as an “open border” between Mexico and the U.S. While it’s hard to seriously argue that the border is “open” when people keep getting arrested there (psst, it’s not), it’s easy to see how Abbott’s policies—which include placing razor wire and buoy barriers in or near the Rio Grande to deter immigrants—might give the warm-blooded among us pause.
The New York Times:
[M]any residents who own land near the Rio Grande said the state law enforcement agents had already overstayed their welcome. While he initially agreed to cooperate, Mr. Urbina said he had watched in dismay as state troopers had “completely taken over” his land.
The local migrant shelter has reported that many migrants are arriving with serious lacerations from the razor-wire barriers, and Mr. Urbina is concerned that some of those injuries are occurring on his land. “We don’t want to see people get hurt,” he said.
“I want to be clear that we support the aspect that we need to have some kind of border control. But they have taken over this whole area,” he said.
So deliberately slicing up desperate immigrants who are coming here to help us address our short- and long-term labor shortages goes too far? Just wait until Urbina takes a closer look at Republicans’ plans for invading Mexico!
Luckily, Republicans these days are far too incompetent to pull off a truly Machiavellian plot (see: insurrection, failed). In fact, it turns out that Abbott’s buoys didn’t just violate U.S. law, but at least one international treaty as well. As a result, he was forced to move them.
NBC News, Aug. 16:
A document filed by the Department of Justice in its lawsuit against Texas over buoys the state placed in the Rio Grande to deter migrants says that 787 feet of them are in Mexico. Another 208 feet are in the U.S. The section of buoys in U.S. waters are upstream, and the rest are downstream, the document states.
The apparent trespassing was determined through a topographic survey conducted by the International Boundary and Water Commission, according to an affidavit filed in a U.S. government lawsuit against Texas and Gov. Greg Abbott over the buoys.
Mexican Foreign Minister Alicia Bárcena said during a visit to Washington this month that Texas' buoys had crossed the border and most were on the Mexican side of the river, which Mexico calls the Rio Bravo, the Dallas Morning News reported.
Not only that, the razor wire and buoys have already likely proved deadly—or, to be slightly more accurate, “murder-y.”
Aug. 3 edition of USA Today:
The discovery of two bodies in the Rio Grande near Eagle Pass – where Texas has installed buoys to discourage migrants from crossing into the United States – continued to roil international controversy, even as details of the two deaths remained unclear.
Initial reports referred to one victim as a child. However, the Mexican foreign ministry later announced late Thursday that that one victim had been identified as a 20-year-old man from Honduras after his mother said the tattoos on the body matched that of her son's.
According to Mexico's foreign affairs secretary, the other body was found stuck on the buoys Wednesday.
Meanwhile, many observers, including Democratic Texas Rep. Joaquin Castro, have been quick to criticize Abbott’s vicious
immigration reelection strategy.
For the nontweeters:
Everyone needs to see what I saw in Eagle Pass today. Clothing stuck on razor wire where families got trapped. Chainsaw devices in the middle of buoys. Land seized from US citizens.Operation Lone Star is barbaric—and @GovAbbott is making border communities collateral damage.
So there you have it. Republicans have become so cruel—and nonsensical—when it comes to immigration that even some of their supporters have had it. Real-live conservatives with functioning consciences? Now we’ve seen everything, haven’t we?
RELATED STORY: Two bodies found in Rio Grande, one snared in Gov. Greg Abbott's river trap
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