POLITICS: Biden’s border dereliction forced Gov. Abbott’s hand, and caused a national crisis
Who do you think said this, when asked about the southern border and the issue of sanctuary cities?
“You have to have a federal government that can enforce laws. This administration has been fundamentally derelict in not funding any of the requirements that are needed even to enforce the existing laws.”
Would he allow cities to ignore federal law? “No.”
It may seem surprising, but that was Joe Biden — way back in 2007 during the George W. Bush administration.
In those days, the then-senator and candidate for the Democrat nomination for president was talking tough on sanctuary cities.
He warned that in these cities, stores ended up closing and the cities themselves became “dumpsters.”
So how can the same man — now in the position of president himself — have brought America to the state we are now in?
Abbott’s Wednesday statement should be seen not as a fly-by-night news story, but as a detonation under the body politic of America. That he felt the need to do it tells us everything about the situation.
“The federal government has broken the compact between the United States and the States,” Abbott’s declaration began. “The Executive Branch of the United States has a constitutional duty to enforce federal laws protecting States, including immigration laws on the books right now. President Biden has refused to enforce those laws and has even violated them. The result is that he has smashed records for illegal immigration.”
In other words, the Border Patrol will be actively removing protections put up by the state not just to protect the state but to protect the whole country, including sanctuary cities like this one.
The court’s ruling was obviously wildly provoking to the governor.
And I can’t think of a more serious threat to the political order in this country than what Biden, the Supreme Court and Abbott have now brought to pass.
Because Abbott has reached for the most serious tool of any governor’s arsenal. These are no mere legal games anymore.
What the governor is declaring is that Texas is going to take matters into its own hands.
Over 6 million people have flooded over the border in the last three years. Which, as Abbott has pointed out, is more than the population of 33 states in this country.
Yet instead of helping Texas to secure the border, the federal government has actually gone after Texas for doing so. It has dragged the state to court for daring to try to secure the border.
And since the Biden administration has told the border agencies to ignore laws mandating that they detain illegal arrivals, the effect has been — as Abbott says — a “mass parole” into the United States.
It is these people who end up on the streets of this city — and many other cities, from Chicago to San Francisco. It is these people who end up filling our city’s hotels and shelters.
It is these people who at worst commit crimes and at best undercut New York City workers by entering the black economy and making a mockery of the Democrats’ own minimum wage laws for workers in this city.
So what Abbott has done may seem desperate, but it is also necessary.
He has declared what is happening “an invasion.” And he has triggered the articles that allow the rights of a state to self-defense and invoked Texas’ “constitutional authority to defend and protect itself.”
What is more, he has said that from here on, the Texas National Guard, Texas Department of Public Safety “and other Texas personnel” will be acting on this authority and on state law — not federal law — to protect the state of Texas.
This is a very serious breakdown in the political system in this country.
To have a state governor say that federal law has broken down and that as a result, his state is going to take matters into its own hands is extraordinary.
Except that there is a precedent: all those cities and states that also broke away from federal law in recent decades when they declared themselves sanctuary states and cities.
I suspect that Abbott will get a fair amount of pushback on his statement, in the courts and in the courts of elite opinion.
But where were these critics when leftist politicians went around grandstanding about the necessity of welcoming the world’s poor and dispossessed?
Where was the condemnation when states and cities decided to unilaterally encourage further illegal migration into this country because they wanted to look kindly and compassionate?
The answer is: It was there. Such as in the statements of Joe Biden — the candidate — in 2007. And then nothing happened.
People might have condemned “sanctuary state” announcements, but little to nothing was done about them.
And it never is. Because in the realm of illegal migration, there is never any price to pay for encouraging it.
The true political pressure is only put on people like Abbott, who are trying to enforce the laws of the land.
Of course when they run for election, candidates such as Biden will occasionally talk a tough game.
But they act the other way. It is as though the water on illegal migration only flows one way.
There is no other area in public life where the decisions that need to be made are so tough in the short term. And no policy decision that is easier to put off for the long term.
Yet the putting off is exactly what makes it worse.
There is an ominous note around Abbott’s declaration. But it is also a necessary one.
And I hope amid all the criticism, people remember it wasn’t Abbott who brought America to this point.
It was Biden and all the other politicians who said one thing, only to then do another.