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From the standoff between Texas and the Biden administration to impeachment proceedings against the secretary of homeland security, it has been a busy week in Open Borders America.
Texas vs the Government
Texas Governor Greg Abbott (R) has been cracking down on migrants entering his state. His program of busing illegals to sanctuary cities like the Big Apple and Chicago continues apace, and recently he ordered a major corridor for illegal crossings blocked. The White House has tried to get Abbott to back off but to no avail. Those tensions only escalated after three immigrants – a mother and her two children – drowned while trying to cross the Rio Grande. It didn’t take long for the blame game to begin.
The federal government argues that if the border patrol had access to the area, they may have been able to rescue the drowning victims. Texas authorities claim the drownings had already happened before Border Patrol requested access.
Abbott remarked in a statement on January 14 that President Joe Biden “is doing everything possible to eliminate strategies that actually prevent illegal immigrants from entering our country. Texas will continue to use every tool possible to block illegal immigration.”
Making good on the governor’s word, Texas authorities began arresting migrants at Shelby Park in Eagle Pass on January 14 for the first time since taking over the area. Lt. Chris Olivarez at the Texas Department of Public Safety said single adult migrants were taken into custody while families and children were transferred to Border Patrol. On X, he posted videos showing illegal immigrants being handcuffed and taken away and wrote: “The State of #Texas will remain a proactive posture in curbing illegal border crossings between the ports of entry.”
VA Helping Illegal Immigrants
The Department of Veterans Affairs is being accused of using its resources to help illegal immigrants instead of veterans. Since a 2002 agreement between the agencies, ICE has been paying the VA to process medical claims. Last year, the veteran assistance agency processed $94.3 million worth of claims for ICE. A VA spokesperson said that no more than ten employees are involved, but critics feel this is too much when, according to the Veterans Affairs website, there are currently around 417,855 veterans and families still waiting for decisions on their claims.
Derrick Van Orden (R-WI) is a retired Navy SEAL who now sits on the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs. He told the New York Post: “It is incredibly insulting to our veterans who risked our lives defending this nation, and it should shock the American taxpayers that the Biden administration is using VA resources to provide health care to illegal aliens.” The lawmaker said the collaboration between the VA and ICE is “despicable and needs to be stopped immediately.” He added that “many veterans have to travel hours and wait weeks to be seen at a VA facility.”
The House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs held a hearing on January 17 to discuss possible VA funding misuse. Several witnesses from the VA testified on how the money is being spent, and more hearings are expected to be held in the future.
Louisiana to Start Tracking Migrants
The open border policies of the current administration are putting many lawmakers on edge. In Louisiana, Republican Governor Jeff Landry signed an executive order on January 16 requiring agencies to monitor their sectors and report the financial burdens of aiding illegal migrants to his office. Landry said in a press release:
“This Executive Order will analyze data to determine the financial burden our citizens are being forced to carry because of those who do not follow the law. Louisiana will always welcome those who legally immigrate, but taxpayers cannot continue to foot the bill for individuals who break the law and skip the line.”
Law enforcement will be tasked with compiling a list of immigrants who have been arrested and then providing a monthly report to the governor’s office. The information gathered will contain the immigrant status, crime committed, any convictions, and if the individuals have a criminal background – and it will be posted on the internet, as well.
Biden, Mayorkas, and Open Borders
This week,14 Democrats voted alongside House Republicans in favor of a resolution disapproving of President Biden’s border policies. It places blame on the commander-in-chief for the way he’s handled the migrant crisis. Representative Nathaniel Moran (R-TX) introduced the bill and, in a statement, said: “President Biden’s open border policies have caused a national public safety crisis, undermined the rule of law, and brought into question the very sovereignty of the United States.” He continued:
“By removing effective Trump-era policies like ‘Remain in Mexico’ and replacing them with new ‘Catch and Release’ policies that allow migrants free roam within the United States once here; by broadening the pathway to grant asylum to almost anyone who applies; and by redirecting the efforts of Border Patrol away from law enforcement in favor of processing immigration paperwork, the Biden Administration has sent a loud and clear message to the rest of the world that the southern border is open.”
On Thursday, January 18, House GOP members concluded their impeachment hearings against Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, just a week after the proceedings began, and are moving forward with the impeachment process. Mayorkas probably didn’t do himself many favors by refusing to testify after receiving an invitation to do so. Apparently, the secretary asked for a different date but was denied and told to submit a written statement by January 28 instead. Chairman of the panel, Mark Green (R-TN) said during the hearing:
“The truth is that Secretary Mayorkas has disregarded court orders, laws passed by Congress and has lied to the American people. Who wants a secretary that can just disregard the fundamental pillars of the Constitution? We cannot tolerate that, whether they are a Republican or Democrat.”
The standoff between Texas and the federal government will likely continue to escalate over the next few weeks as the Biden administration calls on the courts to take legal action while the Lone Star State digs in to protect its territory and citizens. Lax policies and a failure of enforcement have caused a plethora of problems for lawmakers, and not just at the southern border.