Thursday, February 2, 2023

New Year’s Republican Cruelty

As a storm swept through the streets and temperatures dropped below freezing, about 120 people arrived in Washington at midnight on New Years Eve on three buses, dispatched by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott.

Left on the street once more

They were dropped off near the entrance to the United States Naval Observatory, the official residence of Vice President Kamala Harris, and left there.

They are undocumented immigrants who had crossed the border turning themselves in to the Border Patrol to legally request asylum because in their countries they suffer persecution, go hungry and are victims of generalized violence.

At the border, the Department of Homeland Security had seized their documents, so they have no passports, no way to identify themselves, let alone work permits.

If it weren’t for the community activists who moved them to churches and synagogues, they would be lost. Or worse.

They are victims of a political game started by the governor of Texas, as well as those of Arizona and Florida, all Republicans. In defiance of the federal authorities – by law those in charge of immigration issues – they have been entertaining their “base” since April of last  year. They have already transported some 15,000 people without their consent or coordination, and without providing even a hint of a solution to a real problem.

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More cruelty, more circus

Unfortunately, they are legion who applaud them and ask for more: more cruelty, more circus, more acts of aggression, more permanent electoral campaign and more possibilities of violence.

The propaganda operation of which immigrants are victims despite not having violated the laws already began with Washington D.C. as a destination. New York and Chicago were added in August. As of November 15, the city of Philadelphia.

With each shipment, Abbott congratulated himself on having punished the “liberals”, the “Democrat Party”, the sanctuary cities. Not a word about the passengers, for whom there are solutions in their own state or, in a coordinated and organized way, in others.

The entire operation has been a cheap provocation from the beginning. The governor speaks of an “invasion along the border”, using inflammatory and militaristic language, as if he did not know that it is about families, about mothers with their children.

He has preferred to encourage division and not offer any solution.

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A human trafficker

These activities in the name of cruelty that he carries out, motivated by his political aspirations and inciting more racism and more xenophobia, turn Governor Greg Abbott into a human trafficker,

And while the federal government has increased funding to patrol the border, speed up asylum applications, or compensate Texas and the other states for the costs they incur, for Abbott, it’s the publicity he gets by playing the role that matters.

Congress must act. State governments must attack the real problems, establish shelters and services for migrants on both sides of the border, help speed up the processing of asylum claims, and seek long-term solutions. And the corresponding federal funds sent to Texas must be reallocated to the sanctuary cities to which it sends its buses.

Founder and co-editor of Latino Los Angeles. Editor Emeritus of La Opinion, former Editor-in-Chief. Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, is a journalist, columnist, blogger, poet, novelist, and short story writer. Was the editorial director of Huffington Post Voces. Editor-in-chief of the weekly Tiempo in Israel. Is the father of three grown children and lives with Celia and with Rosie, Almendra and Yinyit in Los Angeles.

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