UPDATE 7/30/21 6:00 AM EDT: Texas Governor Greg Abbott last night issued a statement responding to U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland’s letter regarding Executive Order GA-37, which restricts the transportation of unlawful migrants in Texas due to COVID-19.
“It is clear that the Biden Administration fundamentally misunderstands what is truly happening at the Texas-Mexico border. The current crisis at our southern border, including the overcrowding of immigration facilities and the devastating spread of COVID-19 that the influx of non-citizens is causing, is entirely the creation of the Biden Administration and its failed immigration policies. By choosing not to enforce immigration laws, removing sound policies like the Remain in Mexico program, and failing to make the most robust use of Title 42 authorities, this Administration has directly caused the unprecedented crisis Texas is facing. And it is increasingly a matter of grave public-health concern as unlawful migrants enter from countries with lower vaccination rates than the United States.
“It would be of some solace if the federal government were conducting appropriate COVID-19 testing and other mitigation strategies, but to the contrary, we hear too many reports of the federal government recklessly failing to do so and instead admitting into the United States — and Texas — migrants from over 150 counties, many of whom are testing positive for COVID-19.
“In short, the Biden Administration is jeopardizing the health and safety of Texans on a daily basis by refusing to follow the law. And it’s not just Texans; these irresponsible policies and actions by the Biden Administration are endangering the lives of many Americans as well as the unlawful immigrants themselves. I will take every available step consistent with the law to fulfill my duty to protect the health and safety of all Texans.”
ORIGINAL ARTICLE: (Headline USA) The Biden administration’s deeply politicized Justice Department voiced its displeasure with Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott‘s newest immigration measure, allowing state troopers to pull over vehicles carrying migrants on the basis that they could increase the spread of the deadly COVID-19 pandemic.
Attorney General Merrick Garland forcefully urged Abbott to immediately walk back the new directive a day after it was issued by the two-term governor.
“The order is both dangerous and unlawful,” Garland wrote.
He went on to suggest that the federal government could sue Texas if the order was not lifted. Abbott’s office did not immediately return a message seeking comment.
Abbott’s order was based on the policies implemented during the Trump administration. Although President Joe Biden never formally rescinded the pandemic order, he has also refused to enforce it.
Only two weeks ago, the partisan Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reversed its guidance concerning the entry and transport of illegal immigrants.
Despite a recent surge in reported cases of a new “mutant” strain of the virus, the Biden administration is reportedly shipping potentially infected illegals to various parts of the country—many of them presumed to be red states where he can then impose punitive measures over the low vaccination rates.
The order is the most recent attempt by Abbott to stem the spiraling-out-of-control border crisis, a direct result of Biden’s policies and rhetoric.
Other measures have included jailing migrants on state crimes and building new fencing along the Rio Grande.
In releasing the directive Wednesday, Abbott said “we must do more to protect Texans from this virus and reduce the burden on our communities.”
The order allows the Texas Department of Public Safety to “stop any vehicle upon reasonable suspicion” that it was providing ground transportation to a group of migrants.
Democrat state lawmakers—who recently triggered their own super-spreader event while traveling to Washington, DC, where they infected both White House staff and a staffer from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office—attempted to deflect the issue back onto Abbott.
“Blaming the current coronavirus surge on immigrants in his executive order, is a flagrant attempt to absolve his ineffective leadership that ultimately led to the unnecessary loss of life of our fellow Texans,” Democratic state Rep. Rafael Anchia said.
Adapted from reporting by the Associated Press