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From Showboating to Gun-boating: GOP Senators’ Dehumanizing of Vulnerable Kids Takes Dangerous New Direction

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NBC News reporters Jacob Soboroff and Morgan Chesky are reporting that 19 Republican Senators are set “to ride up and down the Rio Grande on @TxDPS boats outfitted with multiple .30 caliber machine guns.” The “threat” that they are play-act “patrolling” against? Vulnerable kids seeking refuge in America. 

The following is a statement from Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice:

From showboating to gun-boating, this is disgusting play-acting and a dangerous development from Republican Senators. Make no mistake, this signals to their diehard base that vulnerable kids seeking protection and other migrants and refugees are threats that should be met with guns.

This ugliness is compounded by recognizing that their photo-op takes place at the border of the same state where the El Paso shooter’s motivations traced back to white nationalist views of killing Latinos to respond to an ‘invasion’ from Mexico. Republicans can’t wink and nod in this direction and then wash their hands of their role in hyping threats.

Remember: these 19 Republican Senators posturing at the border and going on ‘patrol’ with machine guns against migrant children fleeing violence is exactly 19 more than went to Atlanta or Boulder after the recent shootings. They can’t even stand up to the violent white extremists who plundered the U.S. Capitol and killed a Capitol policeman on January 6th. 

Yet they want to signal that the biggest threat facing America isn’t COVID, isn’t gun violence, isn’t the Capitol insurrections, isn’t domestic terrorism…but vulnerable kids seeking shelter in America and reunification with their families. 

America should protect kids who are fleeing for their lives rather than sending them back to the violence they fled. As the Biden administration is proposing, we need serious and durable solutions to stabilize Central America, reduce migration pressures, and manage policies along our border in a safe and humane way. 

And Republicans want to take their political posturing and dehumanizing cruelty – and guns – into an even more dangerous direction.