Greg Abbott, Governor of Texas, has said that the state is doing everything it can to prevent border crossings—only holding back from shooting people to avoid being hit with murder charges.
Pulling out all the stops
In an interview with Dana Loesch, Abbott emphasized the comprehensive approach he is taking to secure the border. “We are deploying every tool and strategy that we possibly can. The only thing that we’re not doing is we’re not shooting people who come across the border because of course the Biden administration would charge us with murder.”
During the interview on The Dana Show, Abbott was asked about the “maximum amount of pressure” he could exert to secure the border. The governor outlined the state’s multifaceted approach, including building border walls and barriers, and a new law that empowers officials to remove individuals from the U.S. who they suspect of being in the country illegally.
Soon after airing, Abbott’s line about shooting migrants was cut from the show. He later clarified that he was simply responding to being asked where the state drew the line: “I pointed out something that is obviously illegal. It’s that simple.”
The controversial comments come not long after the Biden administration sued Texas to challenge several of Abbott’s border security initiatives, including a new deportation law scheduled to take effect in March.
Shift in authority
The law would grant Texas law enforcement the authority to arrest and remove migrants accused of unlawfully entering from Mexico, a job that was previously left to federal government immigration enforcement.
An ongoing battle
In addition to legislative efforts, Abbott has implemented physical measures such as miles of razor wire and a wall of buoys in the Rio Grande. These actions are currently being challenged by the Biden administration, which is seeking their removal.
In other news, a woman and two children recently drowned while trying to enter the U.S. when Abbott’s Texas National Guard soldiers prevented border patrol agents from attempting to rescue them. The incident has resulted in further condemnation of Abbott.
Not my problem
New York City Mayor Eric Adams has also imposed restrictions on buses of migrants being sent by Governor Abbott from Texas. Abbott has been sending the buses to large cities, such as New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago, in an attempt to get Biden to deal with the crisis.
Put a stop to it
Adams accused the governor of using the migrants as “political pawns” and said that Abbott needed to stop “playing games with innocent lives.” His administration recently filed a lawsuit against the charter bus companies transporting the migrants.
On the other hand, some conservatives, including Republican figures like Ron DeSantis, have pressured Abbott to take more drastic measures. DeSantis previously advocated for the use of deadly force against suspected traffickers during a campaign stop in Texas.
The Texas Department of Public Safety has investigated claims of mistreatment of migrants under Abbott’s border security initiative, including six troopers’ alleged mistreatment of migrants last summer. While most incidents were confirmed, the agency’s inspector general concluded that officials did not violate the law or agency policy.