Congressional Dem Fears Violence
Between State and Feds at Border
February 4, 2024
Democrats warned on Sunday that Governor Greg Abbott could be setting the stage for racial attacks and a violent confrontation between state and federal forces with an escalation in anti-migrant rhetoric and exaggerated claims about an invasion being under way at the Rio Grande.
As 14 GOP governors teamed with Abbott at photo op in Eagle Pass to demonstrate a united front on border security, Democrats said the Texas leader has created a powderkeg with words and actions that appear designed to incite a scared and angry GOP base.
U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar of Laredo said that Abbott has effectively transformed Eagle Pass into a movie set. U.S. Rep. Joaquin Castro of San Antonio said Abbott is putting targets on the backs of all Latinos in Texas with talk of an invasion from Mexico. U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee of Houston put Abbott's clash with President Joe Biden on the border in the most alarming terms with concerns about the potential shootout between the U.S. Border Patrol and the Texas National Guard who are currently under the governor's command.
“You are setting up a potential conflict between [Texas National Guard] and Border Patrol, who are federal,” Jackson Lee said. “And because of the standoff at Eagle Pass, I am concerned that it may trigger some form of violence.”
One of Abbott's guests today at Shelby Park - South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem - said a Civil War would break out if Biden federalizes the National Guard here in a move that the state's interference with federal responsibilities has the potential to spark.
Abbott used the event to coin a new term to depict the unity among the governors at the event in Eagle Pass.
"America’s Governors have banded together to make one thing clear: Texas has the right to protect & defend our border," Abbott declared in a post on X after the photo op at Shelby Park. "We will NOT tolerate this invasion the Biden Admin’s open border policies enabled. President Biden — it is your turn now to enforce the law & secure the border."
Abbott claims to have broad new powers as "the supreme law of the land" on the border where the federal government had been until now. But the Texas leader didn't bring up some key facts that might give the other governors cause for pause before they dole out rubber stamp endorsements.
Abbott and other GOP leaders here like Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick insist that razor wire is an effective deterrent to surging migrant rates. The numbers tell ay different story in Texas where the count of migrants who the Border Patrol apprehended in Texas plummeted in the final three months of 2023 in the El Paso, Rio Grande Valley and Laredo area by more than 33 percent.
The Del Rio region that's anchored by Eagle Pass was the only one in Texas that recorded an increase in migrant encounters during that same span of time. The migrant encounter tally in the BP sector with Eagle Pass was up almost 38 percent in December when apprehensions continued to dip in other parts of the Rio Grande in Texas.
Migrant apprehensions plunged by 52 percent in El Paso, 42 percent in Laredo and 18 percent in the RGV in the month of December alone according to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
The migrant counts give the distinct impression that the massive attention that Abbott has reaped with the state's attempted takeover at the Rio Grande has been an advertising magnet for smugglers who can get more for getting migrants into Texas through an obstacle course than they can in parts of the state where the border hasn't been secured. Why else would the apprehension count be so much higher in the area where Abbott has concentrated his Operation Lone Star?
The razor wire has been more of an inadvertent magnet for smugglers based on the December tally of migrant apprehensions in Eagle Pass compared to other areas on the river in Texas that are not receiving publicity and have rates that have dropped instead.
The Rio Grande is 1,254 miles long in Texas. The Del Rio sector stretches across 245 miles with five or 10 in the Eagle Pass area. The governors who were Abbott guests may find it interesting that the state is all but ignoring less than 99 percent of the border while concentrating Operation Lone Star in Eagle Pass.
Abbott's guest for the unity event included Governors Sarah Huckabee Sanders of Arkansas, Brian Kemp of Georgia, Brad Little of Idaho, Eric HolcombIowa of Indiania, Kim Reynolds of Iowa, Jeff Landry of Louisiana, Tate Reeves of Mississippi, Mike Parson of Missouri, Greg Gianforte of Montana, Jim Pillen of Nebraska, Chris Sununu of New Hampshire, Bill Lee of Tennessee, Spencer Cox of Utah and Noem.
more to come ...