“What we did, we put hundreds of Texas Department of Public Safety cars and created a steel wall—a steel wall of DPS vehicles—that prevented anybody from crossing that dam that you’ve seen people walk across,” The Washington Post reports Abbott claimed to Fox News on Tuesday. “We effectively … regained control of the border.” With a line of cars.
Abbott’s anti-immigrant talking points aside, this is all just so stupid that I wrestled with whether or not to even write it up, because it’s not a serious policy, it’s a publicly stunt. And God knows that I don’t want to be a part of helping Abbott in any way. But at the same time, this is the governor of Texas, and he’s engaged in deeply harmful actions that directly threaten the safety, and very lives, of people in his state. And that’s always, always necessary to talk about.
“In addition to gaining the cooperation of the Trump-flavored Supreme Court to strip away women’s rights, Gov. Greg Abbott has been right on top of the threat to the coronavirus, promising to protect COVID-19 from any effort to slow its spread,” Daily Kos’ Mark Sumner wrote earlier this month. “It’s that kind of dedication that has allowed Texas to both seize the top spot from Florida in new cases and hospitalizations, and support the local mortuary industry with more than 400 deaths per day.”
Abbott’s despicable executive order targeting asylum-seekers and humanitarian organizations and workers who aid them has, thankfully, been halted by the courts. But that’s no consolation to unaccompanied children, thousands of whom are being held in state facilities that currently lack licenses due to Abbott. He’d initially sought to completely shut down these sites, but was prevented by an emergency rule that keeps them operational past Aug. 30, CBS News reported. But these facilities are now running without state oversight, “a prospect that has alarmed advocates for migrant children,” the report continued.
“What happens if children are abused by a staff member at one of these shelters?” National Center for Youth Law attorney Leecia Welch noted to CBS News. “What happens if children are denied adequate food or medical care or worse at these shelters? There will apparently be no state licensing authority to call for help.”
Yes, what will happen to these children, Abbott? Who is going to protect actual, living, breathing, feeling, thinking, hurting children in need of safety? It’s certainly not you, and your executive orders and rhetoric have made that clear. I mean, just a couple month before you tested positive for COVID-19 after attending a maskless fundraiser, you were claiming asylum-seeking children and families were the actual superspreaders. But you’ve got your little “steel wall” of cars, don’t you? Like I’ve noted before and will note again, this would all be so stupid if it all weren’t so dangerous.