tags: Press Releases

About Razor Wire and American Values: We Can Manage This Moment – But Must Call Out Dangerous and Dehumanizing Political Nativism

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Washington, DC – Important pushback and denunciation continues after last week’s revelations of horrific and dehumanizing cruelty by Texas troopers against vulnerable migrants and asylum seekers.

According to Vanessa Cárdenas, Executive Director at America’s Voice:

“The dehumanizing and wasteful immigration efforts of Gov. Greg Abbott and too many of his Republican colleagues are driven by ugly political incentives and create a dangerous race to the bottom that has a toll on real people’s lives. It’s important for all of us to keep speaking out and denouncing what we’re witnessing – both the horrific revelations at the banks of the Rio Grande and the larger nativist worldview it represents. As a nation, we should never accept the notion that the only way to manage migration is by cruelty. For its part, the Biden Administration should step up its condemnation of shameful GOP attacks on immigrants. Unfortunately, we have to yet again call out the GOP for continuing its brand of dehumanizing cruelty over real solutions that create an immigration system that is both orderly and just.”

  • Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-TX) this weekend called out Gov. Abbott’s practices as “inhumane” and “barbaric” while also calling on President Biden to speak out more forcefully against the dehumanizing cruelty. Rep. Castro called on Gov. Abbott to “stop those inhumane practices, these barbaric practices,” and assessed the motivations behind Gov. Abbott’s relentless anti-immigrant focus, noting: “really all of Operation Lone Star has been much more of a political stunt than anything else.” Rep. Castro also noted of President Biden, “I’m not just going to reflexively defend the President here. The President needs to speak up on this issue. He needs to say something. The Administration needs to take action. The Department of Justice needs to fully investigate this … If we’re not hearing about this next week or next month, if there’s no action that is taken, if the President doesn’t say something, then I think it reflects a failure of American society. It reflects a kind of moral failing.”
  • An important Wall Street Journal story by Elizabeth Findell, “Texas Spent Billions on Border Security. It’s Not Working,” details that Gov. Greg Abbott’s Operation Lone Star has spent $4.5 billion so far, but “has had little effect on migration while facing charges of civil-rights abuses,” including but not limited to the revelations from last week.
  • Greg Sargent of the Washington Post weighs in to praise the U.S. Department of Justice pushback against Gov. Abbott while capturing the political motivations behind the actions of Gov. Abbott as well as Gov. Ron DeSantis and other Republicans. Sargent writes: “red states like Texas — and Florida, whose governor, Ron DeSantis, is running for president — are waging their own war on migrants in their own ways … These moves are ostensibly about drawing attention to the challenges the Biden administration has faced in managing migration at the border. In reality they are about sending a message to Red America both that the border is a lot more chaotic and dangerous than it actually is and that GOP governors are taking a hard line where Biden will not. But that hard line is largely meaningless. Such moves don’t actually solve the problem of how to deal with large numbers of asylum seekers who arrive at the border daily, propelled by larger forces throughout the Americas … For these governors, the gesture itself is the message.”
  • In a Los Angeles Times op-ed, immigration attorney and former U.S. diplomat Christopher Richardson reminds us that the U.S. can manage this moment and forge an immigration and border system that works – but only if we stop with political stunts and learn from historical precedents of how we addressed past immigration challenges. Among his key points, Richardson writes: “Border stress and asylum backlogs are not new. Yet instead of learning from the policies of previous generations, politicians are pursuing gimmicks such as busing migrants to the home of Vice President Kamala Harris or pushing base-pleasing immigration bills that stand no chance of passing … The policy challenges of immigration won’t be solved overnight. But the past shows us that the system is not intractable.