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Texas Gov. Abbott: Real Purpose of Anti-Immigrant Lawsuit Is To Block Protection From Deportation

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Republican Texas Governor Greg Abbott just let the cat out of the bag.

Abbott has led the charge against President Obama’s 2014 immigration actions, with both DAPA and expanded DACA now on hold as the courts decide to whether or not let the programs go forward.

Up until now, Abbott has been insisting that his partisan lawsuit hasn’t been about attacking immigrant families, but instead about putting an end to the President’s executive actions.

But, during an interview with conservative talk show host Laura Ingraham yesterday, Abbott said what is perhaps the first truthful thing to come out of the GOP side of the lawsuit:

“First of all, that’s why we filed that lawsuit, because we knew the attitude prevailed, that once [undocumented immigrants] get on the DACA or whatever, it’ll be more difficult to remove them.

That’s why we filed that lawsuit against the President saying his executive order was illegal, so that people would never begin to even go down the process, of this DACA pathway.”

So, that’s why, and it’s what we’ve suspected all along. This lawsuit hasn’t been about protecting the Constitution — as Abbott has previously claimed — but instead about maximizing deportations and separating families.

(Maybe Abbott felt right at home? Both his Lieutenant Governor and Ingraham have previously claimed immigrants will turn the U.S. into a Third World Country).

Abbott’s comments are a game-changer. The Republican Governors and Attorneys General of 25 other states let Abbott lead the charge against the President’s immigration actions. Several of these are states are home to several 2016 GOP Presidential candidates. Now, the question is whether they agree with him or not.

Governor Jeb Bush and Senator Marco Rubio have both argued that they don’t want to deport young DREAMers, yet they’ve done nothing to tell Florida’s Attorney General, Pam Bondi, to withdraw the state from Abbott’s lawsuit.

(An in-depth overview of 2016 GOP candidates and their positions on immigration is available here).

New Jersey isn’t one of the states on the lawsuit, but Governor Chris Christie made his position clear by joining the legal fight in the Fifth Circuit, despite the fact that his state has over 200,000 potential beneficiaries of executive action.

Judging from his recent comments on immigration, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker might be the most likely to agree with Abbott.

Just a few weeks ago, Walker still appeared to support a path to citizenship. But this week, Walker aligned himself with extremist Jeff Sessions by railing on legal immigration and appearing to call for the resurrection of Mitt Romney’s failed “self-deportation” policy.

In Nevada, Attorney General Adam Laxalt joined the lawsuit, but Governor Brian Sandoval tried to keep some distance. With this new revelation from Abbott, Sandoval needs to intervene if he cares about his state’s immigrants.

Abbott may be the only Republican leader willing to admit it right now, but we know what stalling and ending DAPA and DACA means. It means putting DREAMers and parents of American citizens at risk of deportation. Many of these kids will be future voters who won’t forget the cruelty the GOP imposed on their parents.

Republicans have tried to make it all about politics. But for these families, it’s personal. And Greg Abbott just proved that.