His border policy is a failure, Abbott is looking for a scapegoat
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott still has to be smart from this point at the infamous May 25 Republican leadership press conference in Uvalde, when Democratic gubernatorial candidate Beto O’Rourke approached from the stage and interrupted the carefully scripted event to tell the Governor, “The time to stop the next shoot is right now and you’re not doing anything. …It’s on you!
O’Rourke was escorted from the room by law enforcement officers, paralyzed the day before in the face of an active shooter, while Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick shouted and Uvalde Mayor Don McLaughlin cursed O’Rourke for his unexpected appearance and blunt remarks. .
Never mind that Abbott had to swallow most of his words at that press conference, one claim after another about the school shooting that left 19 young children and two of their teachers dead at Robb Elementary. School was later found to be wrong or inaccurate.
Fast forward to June 27, when San Antonio authorities discovered an abandoned tractor-trailer near Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland filled with dead Mexican and Central American migrants, with the death toll now standing at 53 .
The news had barely fallen on Monday evening when Abbott tweeted: “These deaths are on Biden. They are the result of its murderous policies of open borders. They show the deadly consequences of his refusal to enforce the law.
Hmm. O’Rourke was somewhat disrespectful in his response to Uvalde, but Abbott was justified in indulging in his own pointing finger?
I have worked, lived near, or visited the Texas-Mexico border since my first move to Brownsville in 1975. The border has never had a greater federal law enforcement presence than it does now. It has never been so difficult to enter, legally or illegally. Open the borders, governor?
Amid such partisan hypocrisy, the least Abbott could have done was thank Beto for copying his bullseye I accuse.
Meanwhile, in the middle of his tweets, the Governor somehow forgot to mention the billions of dollars he ordered spent on his own failed militarization of the border. The centerpiece of that failure was the April debacle, when Abbott ordered all trucks crossing the Texas border from the south to be stopped and searched for drugs and migrants. Trade halted for days as traffic on international bridges was frozen for hours.
Zero seizure of drugs or contraband. No migrant trucks. Nothing to justify the economic and social damage. Yet Abbott has now ordered even more money to be spent on mobile state inspection units that will soon roam the roads north of the border, randomly stopping vehicles looking for migrants.
We know that Abbott harbors ambitions to be the next Republican president. Can’t he at least wait before emptying the public treasury by pretending to be responsible for border security?
If only those billions had been spent on public schools, mental health services, and other critical state needs. Unfortunately, children do not vote. Neither do most people living in poverty. As Abbott continues his campaign to demonize migrants and, by extension, people south of the border, he is placing a safe bet on the white voters in Texas who have kept him in power and the US payroll. Status for 26+ years.
His campaign fodder is accumulating as expected.
The violence, poverty and corruption that plagues Mexico and Central America and has sent hundreds of thousands of desperate families and individuals seeking refuge in the United States know no political party. San Antonio saw thousands of Central American migrants freed along the US-Mexico border flow into the city during Donald Trump’s years as president.
Abbott somehow neglected to take to Twitter to blame Trump at the time. Yes, the crisis continues under Biden, though Thursday’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling upholding the president’s right to overturn Trump’s “stay in Mexico” policy should eventually ease the buildup along the border as asylum seekers are once again processed through federal courts.
Comprehensive immigration reform has eluded both political parties for decades, and especially since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, which upended President George W. Bush’s efforts to push through meaningful reforms. No one has an answer to deal with conditions in Central America, still reeling from the Cold War militarization of corrupt and repressive regimes by the United States in the 1980s.
American voters would surely welcome an honest effort by both political parties to work together to explore humane and effective responses to the current crisis. This is not going away, especially in San Antonio, and all the public funds and all the partisan rhetoric from Texas state leaders is not going to change that reality.