Greg Abbott Will Bus Asylum Seekers To DC, Dump Them For Laughs
Last week, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced it would phase out a controversial pandemic policy that allowed the immediate expulsion of most people claiming asylum at the US-Mexico border. The policy, called Title 42, is part of a World War II law that was used by the Trump administration as part of Stephen Miller's goal of using every aspect of federal power to end most immigration to the USA. Using the pandemic as an excuse, the Trump administration paired Title 42 with Trump's "remain in Mexico" policy to prevent nearly all Central Americans asylum seekers from entering the US.
Under Joe Biden, the US continued the use of Title 42 expulsions, but allowed unaccompanied minor children and families with children to enter the US while their asylum claims went forward.
Title 42 expulsions will be phased out by the end of May this year, but anti-immigrant politicians aren't wasting any time trying to ramp up panic about the prospect of brown people once again being able to enter the US to request humanitarian protection from violence, gangs, and abuse in their home countries. We're a nation of laws, after all, except when those laws scare white racists.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott, who's facing rightwing primary challengers in his reelection campaign this year and would very much like to be president, this week announced an exciting plan to deal with the immigrant hordes his supporters are certain are coming to replace all the white people. As the Texas Tribune explains, it's a doozy:
At a press conference on Wednesday, Abbott unveiled a stunning plan that sent a shockwave through the immigration rights community: Texas would place state troopers in riot gear to meet migrants at the border and bus them straight to the steps of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., where he said the Biden administration "will be able to more immediately address the needs of the people that they are allowing to come across our border."
Isn't that hilarious? That'll learn Biden! If he loves illegals so much, let him deal with ALL THE MIGRANTS, hurr hurr!
Shortly after the presser, however, the governor's office issued a clarification that would get somewhat less publicity: The buses to DC would only start rolling after migrants had been processed and released into the US, and the program would be completely voluntary.
And in addition to buses, Abbott also ordered the state to charter flights to transport migrants to the nation's capital. The migrants would have to show documentation that they had already been processed by DHS. Many immigration advocates have noted that providing transportation services for asylum-seekers to reach their final destination is something the state should invest in.
In other words, it's still a trolling publicity stunt that treats desperate poor people as political props, but it'll be stripped of some of the more obviously fascist (and illegal) elements Abbott had trumpeted.
ACLU of Texas staff attorney Kate Huddleston still wasn't pleased, because you know how those lefty attorneys are, thinking that people have "rights" simply because they've managed to sneak into our beautiful land of freedom for people who look like Greg Abbott. Huddleston said in a statement that
Any forcible busing of migrants across the country would be outrageous and blatantly unconstitutional. Given that Abbott cannot dictate where people are sent, he has already backpedaled on this heinous plan, announcing that it will be only voluntary.
Beto O'Rourke, who's running against Abbott this fall, dismissed Abbott's cruel publicity stunt as if it were merely some sort of cruel publicity stunt, accusing Abbott of emphasizing pointless trolling over policy. In a statement, O'Rourke said, "If Abbott focused on solutions instead of stunts, then Texas could have made some real progress on the issue over the last seven years."
Well sure, but then the libs wouldn't be owned, and they might not even go cry, to say nothing of the possibility that asylum seekers' rights under US and international law might be recognized, and what American patriot could even bear to live in such a world?
Abbott also said at his Wednesday presser that the Texas Department of Public Safety would immediately begin stepping up "enhanced safety checks" of commercial trucks from Mexico entering the US, to search for undocumented migrants.
Abbott acknowledged that the move will "dramatically slow" traffic at the Texas border. Mexico is one of state's largest trading partners and does hundreds of billions of dollars in trade with Texas every year.
Abbott claimed that the end of Title 42 expulsions would be a bonanza for "cartels" and human smuggling, although as the Houston Chronicle notes, immigration advocates say that's not necessarily the case. They argue that, in reality,
the policy had been a boon for cartels that target migrants expelled to Mexico. Critics of Title 42 also note there has been a massive spike in repeat border crossings since Trump began enforcing the rule, which they argue has inflated border numbers.
“The evidence is clear: Title 42 is neither a meaningful public health measure nor a successful deterrent,” Aaron Reichlin-Melnick, senior policy counsel for the American Immigration Council, testified at a congressional committee hearing Wednesday.
In addition, Abbott said state police would use "boat blockades" on the Rio Grande to somehow make migrants go away, and because the cruelty is always the point, announced Texas would place razor wire in low-water areas of river crossings that get lots of traffic.
The Texas Tribune doesn't report whether Abbott literally rubbed his hands together and grinned at the prospect of those terrible asylum seekers getting all tangled up in concertina wire and drowning, but you have to assume his base voters will be able to fill in the details in their own diseased minds and be very pleased with what a great torture that'll be. After all, crossing the border without papers is a crime (a misdemeanor), and anyone who breaks the law must be dealt with harshly.
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Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.