Texas Governor Intensifies Cruel Rampage Against Undocumented Immigrants

The Texas Governor. Greg Abbott has taken a particularly brutal, opportunistic, and vicious attack on undocumented immigrants over the last few weeks.

First, he instructed state troopers. inspect every commercial truck coming into Texas from MexicoHe argued that this was an essential part of his effort against the smuggling undocumented immigrants into the country. However, the move was more of an advertising stunt than a real effort by the state to curb people-smuggling organizations.

Governor Abbott’s troopers snarled traffic with their searches, leading Democratic gubernatorial challenger Beto O’Rourke to accuse the governor of worsening already tough supply chain conditions. Ultimately, over the eight days the order was in effect, state troopers didn’t find huge numbers of hidden, would-be immigrants, hardly a surprise given they had telegraphed the whole operation in advance.

In another PR stunt, Governor Scott announced that his officers would begin capturing undocumented migrants who had crossed the border. bus them off to Washington, D.C. This also backfired when many migrants started publicly thanking AbbottGet a free ride from D.C.

Now, as the Biden administration moves toward lifting the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Title 42 restrictions on the southern border, Abbott has, according to media reports, begun studying the possibility of declaring the large numbers of undocumented people currently attempting to cross the border into the United States an “invasion.”This would allow the governor to use his war powers to deputize state police officers to enforce immigration laws, and permit them to deport any migrants who are not fortunate enough to be in their care.

It’s a grotesque policy proposal that gives more than a nod of homage to the unsavory role played by the Texas Rangers, a state agency that too often acted as a murderous vigilante groupa forceful police force on the borderlands for decades and centuries. The governor clearly believes that the optics are in his favor, even though it could almost certainly lead to a massive legal battle. immigration rises on the list of concerns that Americans talk about to pollsters.

The Texas governor has been cheered on by members of Texas’s increasingly far right legislature, as well as by onetime members of former President Donald Trump’s administration — who have urged him to allow state troopers and National Guardsmen to send would-be migrants back across the border.

The National Border Patrol Council (NBPC), the union that represents Border Patrol officers and staff, also supports Abbott’s proposal. The fact is that the NBPC’s president, Brandon Judd, recently told Fox News He believed that President Joe Biden was pushing an open border policy and that he was doing it to change the demographics for the U.S. electoral system. In addition to these statements being a horrifying echo of white supremacist “Great Replacement” rhetoric, they ignore the fact that undocumented immigrants and legal residents are actually already denied the right to vote.

Governor Abbott, coming off of Texas’s recent victories at the U.S. Supreme Court regarding its law allowing private citizens to sue abortion providers and others who assist people in getting abortions, has also now set his sights on another judicial precedent: He has proposed allowing local school districts to deny undocumented children access to public schools.

As the governor knows too well, undocumented children’s right to access to public schools has long been settled case law. Texas tried it once before, in 1975. It amended its education laws to deny local schools districts funds for undocumented students. Six years later, U.S. Supreme Court ruled that in Plyler v. DoeThis was not allowed by the Constitution.

It was this ruling that kicked in more than a decade later, in 1994, when voters in California — at the time headed by Republican Gov. Pete Wilson, and with an electorate that had swung far to the right both on crime and on immigration — overwhelmingly passed Proposition 187It also barred undocumented children from its public schools, and people of all ages from public healthcare services and a variety of other benefits.

Even before Latinx activists began counter-organizing against the measure, and even before California’s increasingly diverse electorate started having second thoughts about its response to mass immigration, the courts got involved. Days after the election, a federal district court judge issued an injunction barring the proposition’s provisions from being implemented. Fast five years later, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the measure was unconstitutional.

Abbott and his Texas GOP cheerleaders might pause for a moment and reflect on the California GOP’s history in the years after Proposition 187.

In 1994, when Governor Wilson whipped up voters’ fears of crime and immigration, the Republicans controlled the governorship. They had controlled it for all but eight years since 1967.For the most part, one of California’s two U.S. senators had also been Republican. Republican was the state attorney general. The Republican state attorney general was the mayor of Los Angeles. Many other top city officials were also members. Although the Democratic Party controlled the legislature, the margins were small and the GOP was still influential.

California politics saw a pivotal moment with Proposition 187. In the decades that followed, the number of Latinos registered to vote in California increased roughly threefold.Young people started voting in greater numbers. These new voters were instrumental in driving xenophobic officials off the Golden State’s political stage and shifting the city and state politics leftward.

Wilson would finish his term and then resign in January 1999. Since then, the only GOP governor has been Arnold Schwarzenegger, a moderate who, by modern GOP standards is what the Trumpites derogatively term a “Republican In Name Only,” or “RINO.” The state’s attorney general is a Democrat. Both the legislative houses are dominated by Democrats, and almost every major city in the State, with the exception Fresno’s, is run or controlled by Democratic mayors.

Abbott is doing 2022 what Governor Wilson did for California in 1994. He’s using undocumented immigration as a way to demagogue himself into reelection. It may work for the short term. In the long run, however, Abbott’s shameless political stunts, if they enrage enough people in his state that new political coalitions start to emerge to counter them, could end up costing his state party dearly.

We must remember that, regardless what the GOP may do down the road, there will be concrete consequences for migrants right now. Abbott is treating human beings as political pawns, and he’s showing no signs of easing off on his demagogic campaign.