The so-called “border crisis” has been race-based propaganda, out-right lies, and worsened by the GOP’s culture wars.
Before we get to Abbott’s “border crisis” of 2021, it’s important to understand why so many Mexican and Central American refugees are coming to America for asylum in the first place.
The Refugee Act of 1980 was created to provide a permanent and systematic procedure for the admission to the United States of refugees of special humanitarian concern and provide comprehensive and uniform provisions for the effective resettlement and absorption of those refugees. It was signed into law by President Jimmy Carter. It was intended to give refuge to asylum seekers who could not return to their homes because of the threat of violence or persecution.
Little did America know at the time that the president after Carter would ramp up a War on Drugs, causing a surge of violence and organized crime. As a result, multiple Cartels sprung up in Mexico and Central America. Between the political corruption, extreme wealth inequality, and lack of social infrastructure, the Cartels took over.
In 1994, after Bush Sr. ended the assault weapons ban, military-style firearms designed to fire rapidly flooded American streets, and in turn, these guns flooded across our Southern borders.
Since then, America’s War on Drugs, continual degradation of gun-safe laws, and political catering to lobbyists have created the situation we see now in Mexico and Central American countries.
The United States of America created violence south of us.
They call it the Iron River; it’s a flow of illegal guns from the US to Mexico and Central American. Because of the Iron River, it’s estimated that 70% of guns in Mexico and 50% of the guns in Central America originated from the United States. In fact, there is only one gun store in the entire country of Mexico and the Mexican Army runs it.
Cartels are well armed with American weapons and are getting rich from America’s drug war. As a result, people are fleeing from their homes, seeking refuge in the United States, often because their lives or their children’s lives are in danger.
Over the last several decades, there has been a steady stream of immigrants seeking asylum because their own countries are no longer safe. Asylum seekers are not a new phenomenon.
Trump’s inhumane and xenophobic immigration policies caused an actual crisis at the border.
Trump’s platform was based on racism, xenophobia, and the white supremacist replacement theory. Cruelty was the point. The Trump administration separated thousands of children from their parents and caregivers, closed the ports of entry, and implemented the “Remain in Mexico policy. “
Families and children fleeing violence and persecution were not overrunning the border; they primarily presented themselves to border patrol agents to claim asylum. Trump changed that. While the GOP has touted for decades how they wanted to stop immigration, Trump was the one who tried to make it happen.
Because of Trump’s “Remain in Mexico” policy, it’s estimated that as many as 80% of asylum seekers have been kidnapped, raped, extorted, or trafficked by Cartels while awaiting entry into the United States.
The “Remain in Mexico” policy put thousands of asylum seekers’ lives at risk, which happened with the knowledge of both the United States and Mexican governments. Human Rights organizations around the world rang alarm bells about these dangers.
Even the Department of Homeland Security cited this policy as having “unjustifiable human cost.”
That’s the reason why President Joe Biden signed an executive order on the first day of office, ending Trump’s immigration policies.
On January 20, 2021 the Biden administration paused deportations and suspended the “remain in Mexico” policy for asylum seekers.
After what America endured during the Trump regime, the January 6 insurrection, and the right’s complete detachment from reality, even mainstream media now acknowledges the GOP’s embrace of white nationalism (as seen in Fortune, Washington Post, Politico, the New Yorker, and many more).
Within days of Biden’s inauguration and ending Trump’s cruel immigration policies, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton sued the Biden administration calling it “unconstitutional and violating an agreement between the Department of Homeland Security and Texas.”
The GOP, seemingly unphased by the devastating human rights abuses which happened under the orange one’s watch didn’t want asylum seekers entering America at all. And as thousands of immigrants who had been waiting just across the Rio Grande poured into the United States ports of entry for the first time in almost two years, Republicans saw a political opportunity.
As a result, the right amped up their lies and rhetoric regarding immigration and “open borders.”
Governor Abbott licked the orange man’s boots throughout his administration. Abbott is using immigration as an opportunity to follow in the shamed-president’s footsteps with lies and racist propaganda, catering to the deplorable base of Republican voters who want to see an end of brown people immigrating to our country. Since then, Greg Abbott has put himself at center stage of a non-existent “border crisis.”
There never was a border crisis, and allowing asylum seekers to seek refuge as they did for nearly 40-years leading up to Trump’s terrible immigration policies does not equate to “open borders.“
The situation is complex, so I wanted to explain the cause of asylum seekers traveling to America first. To understand the case at the border, you have to know how we got to where we are.
By making up lies and using racist propaganda, the GOP aims to regain political power, knowing that the border situation is too complex for the Republican voter to understand or take the time to research.
For the last year, every Republican politician from Texas to Maine has harped on “open borders” and “border crisis,” each taking their cues from Greg Abbott.
In March of this year, Greg Abbott lifted Texas’ mask mandate, appealing to the anti-maskers who would most likely cast a vote for him. In turn, Biden blasted Abbott, calling his decision to end Covid-safety protocols “Neanderthal thinking.“
The very day after Biden accused Abbott of “Neanderthal thinking,” Abbott began blaming immigrants for the spread of Covid-19. Despite there being no evidence of migrants at the border spreading the virus, Abbott repeated this lie again and again on right-wing media until the talking heads and other GOP elected officials repeated it.
They did this while calling for Biden to reinstate Trump’s immigration policies because they were popular among their base and despite the human costs. Still, there was no border crisis or open borders. And in March, Abbott launched “Operation Lone Star.”
“Operation Lone Star” is political pandering to the right while committing civil rights abuses.
“Operation Lone Star,” has cost Texas taxpayers roughly three billion dollars. While Abbott has promised to “deny Mexican Cartels and other smugglers the ability to move drugs and people into Texas,” that’s not what has happened.
Because there was no border crisis and there weren’t open borders, Abbott took extraordinary steps to make it look as if his lies were true.
In June, Abbott banned non-profit organizations from transporting migrants. In September, he ordered the closing of all Texas ports of entry, even though he had no authority.
Because of Abbott’s efforts to stop asylum seekers from legally entering the country, migrants cross the river and present themselves to authorities, expecting to be taken in to submit an asylum claim (this has always been the protocol).
Instead, what they found was Greg Abbott’s brown-shirts and “Operation Lone Star” eagerly awaiting them.
Under Greg Abbott’s orders, the Texas National Guard gathered the migrants into groups, marched them onto private property, and then arrested them for trespassing.
Under “Operation Lone Star,” the Texas National Guard and DPS have arrested 1,500 immigrants for misdemeanor trespassing. Not drug smuggling, not for gang-related activities, but misdemeanor trespassing after they marched them onto private property. Of those 1,500 arrested, only 3% have been convicted.
As a result, Abbott has created a real civil rights crisis.
Once these immigrants have been arrested for misdemeanor trespassing, they are locked up in Texas jails for months without even entering a plea. So many misdemeanor trespassing arrests have happened that the courts in border communities are now overwhelmed with a backlog that keeps asylum seekers in jail for months.
When they finally are released, they are released in groups… usually just dropped in a parking lot without any clue what they are supposed to do. This creates the appearance in border towns that migrants are overrunning them.
Governor Abbott’s fake border crisis policies continue to make the situation worse.
Some of these migrants will be arrested again just trying to get somewhere safe… some might die in overcrowded prisons from Covid. And Abbott just stole $4 million from the Texas prison system to fund his fake crisis, so conditions in prisons are getting worse.
Abbott is using the national guard to do all this, but while he’s sequestered them at the border, he’s cut their tuition benefits in half to help pay for his charade, which will cause many to drop out of school. In fact, the morale among the troops along the border is so bad, we’ve seen a startling occurrence of drug overdoses and suicide among them.
Meanwhile, the militarization along the border is killing small businesses and creating an atmosphere of fear among their predominantly Hispanic communities. And Greg Abbott’s “invasion” rhetoric is creating an environment ripe for violence because he didn’t learn anything after the El Paso massacre, which was fueled by the exact same rhetoric.
It’s all been political theater in an election year to pander to the very worst of society.
Greg Abbott’s fabricated border crisis and lies about open borders have become this year’s talking point among the GOP to scare their base. Even mainstream media acknowledges those who have embraced white supremacy and believe in the racist replacement theory.
At what cost?
At the cost of human lives, which are at risk from Cartels, and poor conditions in Texas jails.
Our country is being further inflamed by the GOP’s culture wars.
And bills are stacking up against Texas taxpayers.
If Democrats want to win in 2022, they need to aggressively push back against the GOP lies and rhetoric regarding the border. Mainstream media needs to shed more light on this manufactured crisis that Greg Abbott created. And we all need to call out for the truth whenever the GOP lies about the border.
The ACLU and over 100 organizations are suing Greg Abbott for civil rights abuses.
Major immigrant and civil rights organizations, including the ACLU of Texas, Texas Civil Rights Project, and Texas Fair Defense Project, with the support of over 100 organizations, jointly filed a Title VI discrimination complaint with the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) urging a formal investigation of Texas’ Operation Lone Star migrant arrest program.
Greg Abbott and the State of Texas have been deliberately targeting people for arrest based on perceived race and national origin and channel those arrested into a shadow criminal legal system that violates fundamental constitutional rights.
If you still don’t know that Greg Abbott and the GOP are the bad guys, you haven’t been paying attention.
Vote Abbott out.
Vote them all out.
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