The news keeps running right at us like the lights of an oncoming car on a dark night, its beams on high. Incidents that would have made the headlines for days sometimes get buried on the last page. But the news about Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s latest assault on migrants stands out amidst news of the pandemic, home and renter evictions, and January 6 revelations. Take a look.
The far-right governor told Texas troopers to jail immigrants crossing the southern U.S. border in coronavirus hot spots. He also ordered his state to build additional barriers by declaring a local state of disaster. His excuse was the coronavirus pandemic. The number of coronavirus cases has continued to grow and migrant shelters are overflowing, especially in the Rio Grande Valley, according to the Associated Press (AP).
Last week Abbott ordered additional Texas state troopers along the border:
‘[To] stop any vehicle upon reasonable suspicion.’
Then, those troopers would send vehicles to take them back to where the migrants had crossed or impound them. Civil rights groups and immigration advocates worried that meant racial profiling.
Local officials have fought against building new barriers and jailing those who cross the border. They predicted the governor’s plan would make matters worse.
U.S. District Judge Kathleen Cardone of El Paso ordered a halt to the governor’s directives, and she scheduled a second hearing next week. Cardone said Abbott’s directive would have the effect:
‘[Of] exacerbating the spread of COVID-19.’
Governor Abbott released a statement following her ruling:
‘The Court’s recent order is temporary and based on limited evidence.’
”We look forward to providing the Court with the evidence to support the Governor’s Executive Order to protect Texans. The Biden Administration has knowingly—and willfully—released COVID-19 positive migrants into Texas communities, risking the potential exposure and infection of Texas residents. The Governor’s Executive Order attempts to prevent the Biden Administration from spreading COVID-19 into Texas and protect the health and safety of Texans.’
Of course, President Biden has been concerned about the dramatically increasing number of coronavirus delta variant cases among those reaching our southern border. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention upped its emergency powers to let federal officials block families from entering the U.S. to halt that source of coronavirus cases.
The Department of Justice (DOJ) accused Abbott of going beyond the president’s plan. It accused him of worsening the coronavirus pandemic. He would increase the number of unaccompanied children in “increasingly crowded” lodgings, according to NBC News.
Hidalgo County Judge Richard Cortez has been the top elected official in the Rio Grande Valley’s biggest county. NBC reported that he said:
‘[A]bout 8% of migrants tested for COVID-19 were positive. He said that number is now at 16% — roughly in line with Texas’ overall positivity rate of 17%, according to state health figures.’
The judge continued:
‘It’s not getting better. It’s getting worse.’
Even in the terrible summer heat, U.S. authorities probably took in 19,000 lone children in July. The previous record was 18,877 in March. Normally the number decreased in the summer.
Assistant Secretary for Border and Immigration Policy at the Department of Homeland Security David Shahoulian said the Rio Grande Valley saw the greatest numbers:
‘U.S. authorities stopped migrants about 210,000 times at the border in July, up from 188,829 in June and the highest in more than 20 years. But the numbers aren’t directly comparable because many cross repeatedly under a pandemic-related ban known as Title 42, which is named for a 1944 public health law.’
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) said the ban remained in effect:
‘[Until its director] determines that the danger of further introduction of COVID-19 into the United States from covered noncitizens has ceased to be a serious danger to the public health.’
On Tuesday, Texas surpassed went over the number of COVID-19 cases. There were 7,000+ hospitalized virus patients and 11,000 new cases. That was as bad as it was during the height of the pandemic in February, WPTV reported.
Three White Lions podcast, Gloria Christie reads her week’s most important news/ commentary stories in the liberal online newspaper The Bipartisan Report. Gloria Christie Report her newsletter for people on the go. Written in her own unique style with a twist of humor in a briefer version of Bipartisan Report. Christie’s Mueller Report Adventures In Bite-Sizes a real-life compelling spy mystery. Find her here on Facebook.