Vanessa Cárdenas: “Texas Republicans are perpetuating border chaos and then pointing to the very chaos they are fomenting and keeping in place to oppose a broader legislative overhaul our country so desperately needs.”
Washington, DC – Contrary to right wing hopes, the overdue end of Title 42 has led to a significant drop in the number of border encounters. While there are several factors at play, one is undoubtedly the importance of alternative legal pathways that help alleviate border pressures and a dangerous trek to the U.S. southern border.
Biden administration policies to expand parole programs and family reunification efforts and create new refugee processing centers are important ways to advance orderliness and safety in the short term while we wait for Congress to do its job on a more comprehensive overhaul of the broken immigration system.
But not if the Republican Party, especially Texas elected officials, have their way. Texas is leading the charge on the broader GOP effort to oppose and overturn policies that alleviate border pressures and is seeking to dismantle legal pathways and alternatives to the trek to the U.S. southern border. It’s part of the larger GOP political effort in favor of perpetual chaos and keeping the status quo of our current broken immigration system.
- In the courts, Texas AG Ken Paxton has taken breaks from intra-Republican warfare and his own legal troubles to file a stream of lawsuits to block, overturn, or stymie the Biden Administration’s immigration efforts, including alternative legal pathways that are showing early successes in alleviating border pressures. The newest State of Texas lawsuit, as the Associated Press detailed, attempts “to have a newly-introduced asylum rule thrown out, saying a phone app used by migrants to set up appointments at the border to seek entry into the United States is encouraging illegal immigration.” Despite the stunningly backwards logic of his claim, Paxton’s legal filing could find success because, as always, Paxton relies on the anti-immigrant judicial pipeline to shop his lawsuits to friendly courts.
- Legislatively in Austin, Texas Republicans and Governor Greg Abbott are advancing state anti-immigrant legislation that would usurp the federal role in immigration enforcement and open the door to potential racial profiling and more chaos in the border region.
- Legislatively in Washington, Republicans in the Texas congressional delegation, most notably Senator John Cornyn of “Cornyn Con” infamy, help block broader legislative modernizations while others in the delegation push for extreme enforcement-only legislation, such as the H.R.2 grab bag of nativist provisions that passed the House this month and was supported by the full slate of Texas House Republicans, including the two that represent the Texas/Mexico border.
According to Vanessa Cárdenas, Executive Director of America’s Voice:
“Texas Republicans are perpetuating border chaos and then pointing to the very chaos they are fomenting to oppose a broader legislative overhaul that our country so desperately needs. It’s a shell game that’s as cynical as it is harmful for their own state and the national interests.”
According to Mario Carrillo, Texas-based Campaigns Director at America’s Voice:
“For too long, Texas Republicans have been at the forefront of attacks against migrants and asylum seekers. From legal challenges to end DACA, to the embracing of nativist, anti-immigrant rhetoric, to harmful bills that would negatively impact our state, the Texas GOP has turned its back on the values that once made Texas a welcoming state for families like mine.
“Texas, and our border communities in particular, are being failed by our elected leaders. Despite the evidence and examples that show why we should all support new legal pathways for asylum seekers, Texas Republicans are trying to dismantle and overturn programs that would help alleviate the border chaos the GOP seemingly perpetuates. Meanwhile, our state’s congressional delegation supported a bill that will only exacerbate the chaos and inhumanity of our broken immigration system instead of partnering on real efforts that could lead to the real solutions our state and nation need.”