Political Clash: Texas Democrats Accuse Governor Abbott of Inciting Border Tensions

Texas House Democrats criticized Gov. Greg Abbott (R) on Sunday for a deadlock between state and federal law enforcement at the US-Mexico border, accusing him of fueling potential violence and turning border security into a solely political issue.

Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-Texas) called Abbott’s border security policy a “disaster” and a manifestation of the “most virulent anti-immigrant sentiment in a generation.”

The governor appeared to disregard a Supreme Court judgment issued last month allowing federal Border Patrol to demolish obstacles established by state law enforcement. Abbott dismissed the order, stating that state law “supersedes” federal.

Dozens of Republican governors have joined Abbott in the fight, with some offering material support, including National Guard troops.

Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) has warned that if the disagreement persists, it might lead to a gunfight between state and federal troops.

“You are setting up a potential conflict between [Texas National Guard] and Border Patrol, who are federal,” she went on to say. “And because of the standoff at Eagle Pass, I am concerned that it may trigger some form of violence.”

Political Clash: Texas Democrats Accuse Governor Abbott of Inciting Border Tensions

Hundreds of individuals have also driven to the border, notably Eagle Pass, Texas, to oppose the federal government, with some Democrats saying the situation could turn violent. A convoy of over 200 vehicles arrived in Eagle Pass on Saturday.

Castro described the demonstrators as “quite frightening” for Eagle Pass residents and, at times, “confrontational.”

“Gov. Abbott understands by now that when he calls this a ‘invasion,’ that he’s putting a target on people’s backs,” Castro went on to say. “It’s not only migrants and asylum seekers. There are also Latinos in Texas.”

Castro equated anticipated future violence to the 2019 El Paso Walmart mass shooting. The shooting was ethnically motivated, with the perpetrator especially targeting Latinos, whom he described as “Hispanic invaders.”

The Democrats urged Abbott to comply with the Supreme Court’s judgment establishing federal authority over the border and to work toward legislative solutions to border security.

According to Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Texas), Abbott’s display of force in Eagle Pass transformed the community into a “movie set.”

Does the state have a role in homeland security? Absolutely, but they must cooperate,” he stated. “They need to work with us and not do this lone ranger and exclude the Border Patrol, which are authorized under federal law to enforce immigration law.”

Cuellar also criticized House Republicans for opposing a Senate border security plan that has yet to be released. Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) declared that any Senate accord would be “dead on arrival” in the House.

Meanwhile, the House held an impeachment hearing for Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, which Democrats criticized as political theater.

“They don’t want to secure the border,” Cuellar explained. “They refuse to look at the Senate bill. They do not even want to read it. But they want to impeach the secretary for ‘not doing their job,’ while our Republican allies are not doing theirs.”

Representatives Vicente Gonzalez, Sylvia Garcia, Greg Casar, and Jasmine Crockett, all Texas Democrats, also attended the press conference on Sunday.


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