NBPC President Brandon Judd claimed in a statement reported by KXAN that Abbott “is doing what the federal government has refused to do,” like “going to go after fentanyl.” That second thing’s a real doozy considering Republicans are on the record as being mad about huge amounts of drugs being seized at the border … under the Biden administration. No, seriously, they’re super pissed.
KXAN reports that Judd is also a major fan of Abbott’s Operation Lone Star, a discriminatory and abusive scheme that’s swept up and jailed hundreds of asylum-seekers, many with no charges at all. Reports have described how officials have forced some asylum-seekers onto private property, then horrifically arrested them for trespassing. Tragically, at least five soldiers tied to Abbott’s scheme have died in recent months. A number of these deaths are suspected suicides.
“Pfc. Joshua R. Cortez was preparing to accept a ‘lifetime job’ with one of the nation’s biggest health insurance companies in late October. But the Texas National Guard had other ideas,” Army Times reported in December. Cortez shot himself in the head after a request to be removed from Abbott’s scheme was rejected.
Retired Command Sgt. Maj. Jason Featherston “described the mission’s political motives as ‘common knowledge around the office,’” the report noted.
You know who else is a big fan of Abbott’s operation? Extremist right-wing organizations, including one headed by a Jan. 6 insurrectionist. Speaking of right-wing extremists, the Border Patrol union records its podcast out of racist rag Breitbart’s studio. Guests on the Green Line podcast have included the previous president, disgraced former Sheriff Joe Arpaio, and anti-immigrant hate group Center for Immigration Studies, Rewire reported in 2017.
Abbott and the Border Patrol union have already enjoyed a cozy relationship centered around bashing immigrants. Abbott was among the right-wing Republicans who helped push a lie that an immigrant had been to blame for a border agent’s 2017 death. The FBI interviewed hundreds of people and in a report said it couldn’t determine how he died. He was found at the bottom of a culvert. But the Border Patrol union continued the baseless speculation.
Recent reports have found that number of people killed as a result of the Border Patrol’s reckless car chases has skyrocketed from two in 2019 to 22 last year. The federal government has over the years paid out tens of millions of dollars in settlements as a secretive police force on the inside has worked to cover up abuses and shield agents.
“Absent strict oversight and meaningful reform, the nation’s largest law enforcement agency, Border Patrol, will continue to conduct deadly chases with impunity,” American Civil Liberty Union of Texas staff attorney Shaw Drake tweeted. “It is time for the Biden administration to take action.”