Greg Abbott, the GOP Governor of Texas, through his state-level measures, combats the influx of illegal immigrants through the US – Mexican border against the administration of Democrat President Joe Biden’s intended or unintended failure to tackle it as a severe national security issue.
Abbott on Wednesday signed an executive order which bans the ground transportation of illegal immigrants on the grounds where the unhindered border crossings have caused a “dramatic rise” in the number of COVID-19 cases in Texas.
Abbott vs. Biden
The Texas Governor cited the “failure” of the Biden administration to guarantee the enforcement of the Title 42 measure, which was adopted by the CDC under President Donald Trump and allowed Customs and Border Protection to turn away illegal immigrants crossing the border, as a way to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Abbott declared that his new order prohibiting the ground transportation of illegals is going to “reduce the risk” of exposure to COVID-19 “in our communities.”
In his announcement, the state’s Republican governor declared that “the dramatic rise” in illegal crossings of the US-Mexican border has brought about “a dramatic rise” in coronavirus cases among the illegal immigrants.
Abbott also accused Biden of “thwarting” the enforcement of the Title 42 measure, including by admitting into the country illegal immigrants who test positive for COVID-19.
Thus, as per his new executive order, law enforcement officials will be the only ones who will be allowed to provide ground transportation to captured illegal immigrants.
The police will have more power
The wider implication of Abbott’s order is that nonprofits will thus be unable to help illegals go elsewhere within Texas or to leave the state when the migrants get released in the interior in order to await court dates or the processing of their cases. (Recent data shows that only about 13% of those released do report to ICE offices afterward, as they are supposed to.)
In the past couple of weeks, the number of COVID-19 infections in the state of Texas has skyrocketed by 178%, while the number of hospitalizations has spiked by over 80%.
In the first two weeks of July alone, a total of 135 illegal immigrants of those caught in the Rio Grande Valley at the Texas – Mexico border tested positive for COVID-19, according to Border Patrol data, which is a 900% increase compared to figures from the last 14 months.
Thus, the coronavirus cases in the detention facilities of the Rio Grande Valley area account for a total of 60% of all cases of detainees with confirmed COVID-19 infections under CBP care.
Abbott’s executive order signed on Wednesday goes further by giving Texas officials permission to pull over vehicles that can be reasonably suspected of violating it, and if a violation is discovered – to force their return to their point of entry.
The new proactive step of the Texas governor to fight the surge of illegal immigration through the US-Mexican border with his own resources in the face of Biden’s all-out abdication from it comes in the heels of another move to that end.
On Tuesday, Abbott granted the Texas National Guard the authority to arrest migrants who are found illegally at the border after information that illegal immigrants infected with COVID-19 are getting released inside the state.