New York: Former US President Donald Trump escalated the tensions between Texas Governor Greg Abbot and President Joe Biden's administration by thanking him for defying the White House and the Supreme court orders banning razor wire fencing, thus adding fuel to an impending constitutional crisis.
Trump thanked Texas Governor Greg Abbott and Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick for defying the US Supreme Court's decision to temporarily bar the use of razor wire at the US-Mexico border as the Texas governor had taken the president and the democrats head on asserting it was the state's rights to do what it deemed fit to stem the large influx of illegal migrants while the democrats would not budge on its policy of open borders.
President Biden has said he might take a fresh look at the southern border issue if there was a bipartisan approach in the congress. .
The former president and 2024 Republican front-runner, Trump, devoted a major part of his speech at Saturday's "Nevada Commit to Caucus Rally' in Las Vegas talking about the southern border.
Trump's comments come amid an ongoing dispute over the border crisis. On Monday, the Court sided with the Biden administration in a 5-4 ruling, allowing US Border Patrol agents to temporarily remove the razor wire that Texas officials put up under Abbott's orders while litigation over the issue proceeds.
Abbott issued a statement on Wednesday, declaring Texas' "right to self-defence." He also posted to X on Monday, and wrote "this is not over" and called the razor wire "an effective deterrent, media reports said .
Trump told a gathering in Las Vegas, Nevada, that the southern border was a "weapon of mass destruction," and if he were to be re-elected, he would "send reinforcements" to Texas where the state would receive his "full support." He also claimed that he didn't have to spotlight the border when he ran against Joe Biden in 2020 because "we had the safest border in US history."
The US has been witness to the largest influx of immigrants from Mexico and Venezuela and a smaller portion from Central American states last year and continuing politically unstable regimes, economic conditions and authoritarian dictatorships ruling those countries send large hordes of its citizens fleeing the country in fear of oppression and suppression by the authorities.
As the US faces an unprecedented surge in illegal border crossings, Abbott tried to fend migrants off, using razor wire along parts of the southern border and a circular saw floating barrier in the Rio Grande river that separates Mexico from Texas. The Biden administration, meanwhile, has called these tactics "dangerous" and "cruel," and says the wire prevents agents from gaining access to key parts of the border.
Some Texas Democrats including former Representative Beto O'Rourke and Representative Joaquin Castro have urged Biden to federalise the National Guard if Abbott defies the Court's order, reports said.
Trump's statements on Saturday come as Biden continues to press Congress to embrace a bipartisan Senate deal to pair border enforcement measures, along with aid to Ukraine in its ongoing war with Russia. While experts disagree with Abbott's approach, they agree that solving the issue at the southern border will require complex solutions, Newsweek said in a special dispatch in its latest edition this week. .
Agustina Vergara Cid, a Young Voices contributor focusing on immigration policy, wrote in an opinion piece for Newsweek: "Increasing legal immigration and creating more legal pathways for peaceful, hard-working migrants to come to America is the only way to solve the border crisis for good. One strategy for doing that is to allow for more employer sponsorship, getting rid of caps on work visas and letting the market dictate how many migrant workers it can take.
More broadly, the US immigration system should be rethought and redesigned to focus on deterring actual threats to the safety and rights of Americans, not economic migrants."
Nicole Russell, an opinion columnist, said the border crisis demands stronger federal enforcement: "Since Abbott launched Operation Lone Star-an effort to deploy as many resources as possible to secure the border and stop illegal migrant crossings -Texas has seen almost 500,000 apprehensions of illegal migrants. Law enforcement agencies have made 38,300 criminal arrests and seized over 453 million lethal doses of fentanyl.
Instances of prevented crime and people who haven't died from fentanyl poisoning don't make the news -- only the tragic events do. So while media outlets or Democratic politicians fail to acknowledge over 38,000 criminal arrests, three migrant deaths are reported and condemned immediately, "opinion makers told the journal.
Arrests for illegal border crossings from Mexico reached an all-time high in December, according to a section of the media. The Border Patrol tallied 249,785 arrests on the Mexican border in December, up 31 per cent from 191,112 in November and up 13 per cent from 222,018 in December 2022, the previous all-time high.
Meantime, Congressional Republicans say they will only accept aid money for Ukraine if it's coupled with tougher U.S. immigration policies. According to PunchBowl News and CNN, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is alleged to have said that discussions around securing the border have flipped for the Republicans and that the party should not do anything that may "undermine" Trump.
On Saturday, Trump repeated claims that he will conduct the "largest deportation mission in history" if re-elected in November. In a statement released Friday night, Biden said what's being negotiated in the Senate would be "the toughest and fairest set of reforms to secure the border we've ever had in our country."
"[The compromise] would give me, as President, a new emergency authority to shut down the border when it becomes overwhelmed. And if given that authority, I would use it the day I sign the bill into law," Biden's statement said. (IANS)