June 14, 2024

Source: https://wng.org/roundups/texas-border-showdown-escalates-1706128337

A January 22nd, 2024, ruling by the US Supreme Court removed a legal injunction against Border Patrol agents from cutting down razor wire on the Texas-Mexico border in Shelby Park, near Eagle Pass, Texas, setting up a showdown between Texas’s State government and Federal authorities.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott, a Republican, defied the ruling, stating on January 24th that he would keep the wire in place and refuse the presence of federal authorities on the parkland. In a statement posted to social media, the Governor argued with the fallacious reasoning that since Texas was under an “invasion” from migrants and that the Federal government was not protecting its borders, Texas had every right to keep its operations in that area going.

The Governor rambled off his rationale in his statement: “The federal government has broken the compact between the United States and the States. 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.”

These actions in Shelby Park are a small part of a larger Texas initiative called “Operation Lone Star,” which seeks to disrupt the flow of so-called “illegal” migrants and narcotics by rapidly expanding border forces, building walls/fencing, and busing migrants to so-called “Sanctuary Cities.” The costs of this program are in the billions of dollars. Operation Lone Star is still in effect today.

Governor Greg Abbott’s political charade has exposed the intra-urban confrontation, or the deep divisions within the country, as tens of other governors around the country, including Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and numerous other Republican politicians, have come out in support of Abbott’s defiance of the Federal Government. Texas Senator Ted Cruz even tweeted a picture of the famous “Come And Take It” flag, replacing the iconic cannon with razor wire.

While the situation is unlikely to spiral beyond Federal control, the defiance of the Federal government by Republicans over such a significant issue in US politics will likely be a winner socially and politically against their rivals, the Democrats.

Biden could federalize the Texas National Guard, forcing them to follow his orders and not the Governor’s, not unlike what was done with the Arkansas National Guard under President Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1957 during the Little Rock Crisis. What is clear is that Biden continues Trump’s barbaric policy of the repression of immigrants, opening and closing the borders depending on the interests of US monopolies.

Whether the situation will get so tense as to require the federalization of Texas’s National Guard is uncertain at this time. However, it is a unique moment in modern US political history,where a Governor has openly defied the Federal government in a flamboyant and partisan fashion.

Will Governor Greg Abbott be bold enough to stake himself and his legacy to this issue and trigger a nullification crisis not seen in this country since 1832 under President Andrew Jackson? It is unlikely, but the rising heat of the “migrant issue” in the US has rallied the right and far-right as economic insecurity increases, and the prospect of white Americans ceasing to become an outright majority in the country seems all but assured.

Immigration aligns with the rhythm of capital’s profitability. It ceases to be advantageous when profits are impacted, when there is a need to fortify social policies, and when discussions around rights emerge. This pattern mirrors the treatment of local workers. Consequently, individuals become categorized as “legal” or “illegal.” The purpose of anti-immigration laws and repressive measures is to perpetuate this division. Capital desires immigrants, but it seeks “legal” immigrants. This entails controlling the timing of their entry, determining their quantity, specifying their expertise levels, and regulating the duration of their stay. There is also a desire for a “certificate of social ideas” to gauge whether immigrants are inclined to exhibit good behavior, demonstrate submissiveness, and display a willingness to integrate.

The immigration crisis is a burning element of the class struggle in the US and Mexico. It has worsened after the Trump-Pompeo agreement with the Obrador-Ebrards government and ratified with the Biden-Harris administration. The actions of the US-Mexican authorities are against people who are looking for a way out against the multifaceted imperialist interventions in which the US operates in the continent. It is an outgrowth of the actions of those who bleed the planet under the guise of “human rights.” It is a consequence of the crisis of capitalism that forces the mass displacement of workers fleeing hunger and misery in search of work and better living conditions. All this is aggravated by the imperialist war which raises the cost of living. The responsibility for this crisis lies with the states and the capitalist system from which it originates.

Based on the internationalism of total solidarity with migrant workers, the communists must fight for a country where working-class men and women, regardless of their nationality, have refuge and solidarity and enjoy the same opportunities and rights as all US workers.

The New Worker will continue to research and cover these events and the struggles of migrants across the US.