The border between Texas and Mexico has been the center of a heated political and legal dispute in recent months. The conflict involves the state of Texas, the federal government, and various humanitarian and civil rights groups. Here are some of the key facts and developments that you should know about this complex and evolving situation.
Why is the Texas border a hot topic?
The Texas border has always been a sensitive issue, as it is one of the main entry points for migrants and asylum seekers from Central and South America. However, the border crisis has intensified since 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic and the change of administration in the US led to a surge of arrivals and a shift in policies.
According to the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP), more than 1.7 million people were encountered at the southwest border in fiscal year 2021, which ended in September. This is the highest number in more than two decades, and a 317% increase from fiscal year 2020.
The Biden administration has faced criticism from both sides of the political spectrum for its handling of the border situation. On one hand, some argue that the administration has been too lenient and has encouraged more migration by reversing some of the restrictive measures implemented by the previous administration, such as the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), also known as the “Remain in Mexico” policy, which required asylum seekers to wait in Mexico while their cases were processed in the US. On the other hand, some contend that the administration has not done enough to protect the rights and dignity of the migrants, and has continued to use some of the controversial practices of the previous administration, such as the Title 42 public health order, which allows the rapid expulsion of most migrants without due process, citing the risk of COVID-19 transmission.
What is the Texas governor doing about the border?
The Texas governor, Greg Abbott, a Republican, has been one of the most vocal opponents of the Biden administration’s border policies. He has accused the federal government of failing to secure the border and endangering the public safety and health of Texans. He has also declared a state of disaster and a state of emergency in several counties along the border, and deployed thousands of state troopers, National Guard members, and other law enforcement personnel to assist with border security and enforcement.
One of the most controversial actions taken by the governor is the installation of razor wire and other barriers along the banks of the Rio Grande, the river that forms part of the border between Texas and Mexico. The governor claims that this is necessary to deter migrants from crossing illegally and to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and other diseases. However, the federal government and several humanitarian and civil rights groups have challenged the legality and morality of this move, arguing that it violates federal jurisdiction over the border, infringes on the rights of migrants and property owners, harms the environment and wildlife, and poses a humanitarian crisis.
What is the legal status of the Texas border standoff?
The legal battle over the Texas border standoff is ongoing and complex, involving multiple lawsuits and injunctions from different parties and courts. Here is a brief overview of some of the major legal developments so far:
- In July 2021, the US Department of Justice (DOJ) filed a lawsuit against the state of Texas, seeking to stop the governor from interfering with the federal government’s immigration authority and enforcement. The DOJ argued that the state’s actions were unconstitutional, preempted by federal law, and violated the Supremacy Clause, which establishes that federal law prevails over state law in matters of national interest.
- In August 2021, a federal judge issued a temporary restraining order, blocking the state from enforcing an executive order that prohibited the transportation of migrants by anyone other than law enforcement. The judge agreed with the DOJ that the order was likely unconstitutional and interfered with the federal government’s immigration functions and the rights of migrants and service providers.
- In September 2021, the US Supreme Court ruled in favor of the federal government, allowing it to remove the razor wire and other barriers installed by the state along the Rio Grande. The court voted 5-4, with the three liberal justices and two conservative justices forming the majority. The court stated that the federal government had shown a “strong likelihood” of success on the merits of its claim that the state’s actions violated federal law and authority over the border.
- In October 2021, the governor announced that he would defy the Supreme Court’s ruling and continue to install more razor wire and barriers along the border. He also invoked the “invasion clause” of the US and Texas constitutions, which gives the state the right to defend itself against a foreign enemy. He claimed that the migrants were a public foreign enemy that threatened the security and sovereignty of the state. He also said that he would use the Texas National Guard, which is under his command, to enforce his border policies.
What are the implications and consequences of the Texas border standoff?
The Texas border standoff has significant implications and consequences for the migrants, the residents, the environment, and the relations between the state and the federal government. Some of the potential impacts are:
- For the migrants, the standoff poses a serious risk to their safety, health, and human rights. Many migrants have been injured, stranded, or drowned while trying to cross the river or the razor wire. Many have also been denied access to asylum procedures, legal representation, medical care, and humanitarian assistance. Some have also faced harassment, intimidation, and violence from state agents or vigilantes.
- For the residents, the standoff creates a climate of fear, uncertainty, and division. Some residents support the governor’s actions and view the migrants as a threat to their security, health, and economy. Others oppose the governor’s actions and view the migrants as fellow human beings who deserve compassion, dignity, and justice. Some residents have also been affected by the state’s actions, such as losing access to their land, water, or livelihoods, or facing legal challenges or retaliation for helping the migrants.
- For the environment, the standoff causes damage and disruption to the natural and cultural resources of the border region. The razor wire and other barriers have harmed the wildlife, vegetation, and water quality of the river and its surroundings. They have also interfered with the historical, recreational, and spiritual uses of the river by the indigenous and local communities.
- For the relations between the state and the federal government, the standoff escalates the tension and conflict over the authority and responsibility for the border and immigration issues. The standoff also reflects the broader political polarization and ideological differences between the Republican-led state and the Democratic-led federal government.
How can you stay updated on the Texas border news?
The Texas border news is a fast-moving and complex story that requires constant monitoring and analysis. If you want to stay updated on the latest developments and perspectives, here are some of the sources that you can follow:
- Texas Tribune: A nonprofit, nonpartisan, and independent media organization that covers Texas politics, policy, and public affairs, including the border and immigration issues.
- Border Report: A multimedia project that provides original reporting and analysis on the US-Mexico border and its impact on the people and communities on both sides.
- Migration Policy Institute: A nonpartisan, nonprofit, and independent think tank that conducts research and analysis on migration and refugee issues around the world, including the US-Mexico border and immigration policies.
- Human Rights Watch: A global, nonprofit, and independent human rights organization that investigates and exposes human rights abuses and advocates for justice and accountability, including the rights of migrants and asylum seekers at the US-Mexico border.
- Texas Civil Rights Project: A nonprofit, nonpartisan, and independent legal organization that protects and advances the civil rights of Texans, especially the most vulnerable and marginalized communities, including the migrants and asylum seekers at the US-Mexico border.
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What’s Going On With the U.S.-Texas Border Standoff?. https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/what-s-going-on-with-the-us-texas-border-standoff/ar-BB1hjNC0
Biden promises to ‘shut down’ the border if given the authority https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/immigration/biden-promises-shut-border-authority-bipartisan-bill-rcna135980
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