On April 6, Texas governor Greg Abbott, a Christian Fascist, declared that he intends to “secure” the already thoroughly militarized Texas portion of the U.S.–Mexico border. Abbott announced a series of harsh, repressive measures. These include:
- Capturing and then busing many immigrants to Washington, D.C., after they have been taken into custody in Texas;
- Ordering the state’s Department of Public Safety (DPS) and the “Texas Military Department” to prepare “boat blockades” along the Rio Grande and in coastal waters of the Gulf of Mexico;
- “Deploying razor wire at low-water crossings and high-traffic areas”; and
- Installing “container blockades” on the banks of the river.
A Continuation and Escalation of Human Suffering
All this and more is an escalation of human suffering inflicted by “Operation Lone Star”–a systematic fascist onslaught of repression, militarization, mass arrests and incarceration, and denial of basic rights recognized by U.S. and international law that has been imposed on much of the area along the border, and extends up to 100 miles north of it.
“Lone Star” began last year, when Abbott vowed to “start arresting everybody” crossing the border who police assume is an immigrant, charge them with criminal trespass, and hold them in county jails and medium security state prisons. This is carried out by the National Guard, state police, county sheriffs, police from outside Texas, game wardens, and at least one heavily armed Christian fascist militia group that described itself as a “Christ-centered, faith-based organization. We’re a bunch of believers.” As of April 14, “Operation Lone Star” has resulted in “more than 233,000 migrant apprehensions, along with more than 13,600 criminal arrests — and more than 11,000 felony charges.”
When thousands of Haitian asylum seekers were penned in at the U.S.-Mexico border beginning in September 2021, Abbott sent a fleet of police and state-owned vehicles to create a miles-long barricade along the border. He boasted to Fox “News”: “… we put hundreds of Texas Department of Public Safety cars and created a steel wall … of vehicles that prevented anybody from crossing that dam that you’ve seen people walk across. We effectively … regained control of the border.”
Now, even greater storms are gathering.
The End of “Title 42” Brings Things to a Head
Abbott’s latest measures are, in part, a response to an announcement by the Centers for Disease Control that, as of May 23, the Biden administration is ending the temporary implementation of a public health provision of federal code known as “Title 42.” Title 42 has enabled both Trump and Biden to expel hundreds of thousands of immigrants from the U.S. without even the pretense of a legal hearing, using protection of the public health of Americans during the Covid pandemic as their pretext.
Reuters News Agency reported that the Department of Homeland Security has begun preparing for “as many as 18,000 [immigrants] per day” who could begin arriving at the U.S.’s southern border when Title 42 is lifted, and that “tens of thousands of migrants who are already near the border could arrive within hours … and more than 1 million in southern Mexico and other countries could come within weeks….”
The announcement of Title 42’s pending termination, and the widespread expectation that this will lead to an enormous surge of attempted migration into the U.S., has accelerated preparations for massive repression of immigrants along the U.S.’s southern border, and intensified sharp conflicts between, and within, the fascist and liberal sections of the U.S. ruling class.
Biden’s Great Betrayal
Biden campaigned for president vowing that on “Day One” of his presidency he would begin reversing the “cruel and reckless” immigration policies of the Trump/Pence regime. Reality has been quite different.
Before he was even inaugurated, Biden said suspending Title 42 would lead to having “two million people on our border” and is “the last thing we need.” Extending and intensifying the use of Title 42 as a vehicle for massive expulsions has been a cornerstone of his border policy from day one. During Biden’s 16 months as president over one million impoverished immigrants have been driven from the U.S. under Title 42 provisions. The deceit that this cruelty was for the benefit of anyone’s health is belied by the fact that countless thousands of the people expelled have been forced to live in squalid, disease- and crime-ridden refugee camps, supported primarily by overwhelmed social workers.
In many ways, Biden’s border policy has been worse, and at least as openly belligerent, as Trump’s. In just nine days of September 2021, the Biden administration conducted what CBS News called a “deportation blitz,” and expelled about 4,000 Haitian migrants, including “hundreds of families with children.” None were allowed even to seek asylum. Last year Vice President Kamala Harris traveled to Guatemala, a country ransacked and impoverished by a century of U.S. domination, including environmental destruction, and told people there “do not come” to the U.S. Months after Biden took office, thousands of children were still crammed in harsh “processing facilities.”
Angry Contention Within the Ruling Class
The New York Times recently reported that “furious debates,” punctuated by resignations of key officials responsible for dealing with the “immigration problem,” have erupted within the Biden administration over whether, and how, to end the use of Title 42, which by law must be renewed every 60 days. It reported that Biden is “under attack from all sides”–within his own Party and administration, as well as from fascists.
Beto O’Rourke, a Democrat running for governor of Texas, complained to a reporter that “It does not make sense to end this [Title 42] until there is a real plan and the capacity in place to handle those … that come over. I have yet to hear a plan from the Biden administration to address the dynamic we will have on the border once Title 42 ends.”
Mitch McConnell, a leading fascist senator, said on the Senate floor that ending Title 42 would “take our border from its current state of chaos into a whole new level of utter, utter meltdown.” Stephen Miller, a rabidly racist immigrant hater and former top advisor to Trump, said lifting use of Title 42 “will mean armageddon on the border. This is how nations end.”
But Republi-fascists have not only attacked the ending of Title 42, they have criticized Abbott, a fellow fascist, for not going far enough in his assaults on immigrants. Prominent fascists, such as Ken Cuccinelli, a former Trump official, have argued that Abbott’s measures are “stunts” and “political theater,” not a serious attempt to shut down the border. They argue that since “these are not normal times,” and “… the border crisis amounts to an ‘invasion’ under … the U.S. Constitution, … states like Texas have the authority to secure the border entirely with state law enforcement.”
In short, they are calling for a showdown between a fascist-led Texas and a Democratic-led federal government over how and by whom the U.S. exercises control over its southern border, a showdown that could lead to a constitutional crisis.
All this–the enormous anguish of millions of people trying to reach the U.S., the brutal repression used against them, and the sharp disagreements among the rulers–will possibly erupt soon. As Bob Avakian emphasizes in his recent interview:
The imperialists have no answer to this, other than more horror: brutal apprehensions, detention camps of unspeakable misery and cruelty, family separations, border enforcement that spawns migrant smuggling rings that morph into trafficking for forced labor and sexual exploitation.
The imperialists have no answer, but the revolution does.
The Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America, authored by Bob Avakian, gives life to how the methods and goals of a new, revolutionary state power, founded on radically transformed relations of production, can work on transforming all of society, and advancing revolutionary struggle against the rule of capitalist imperialism, and all oppressive forces, throughout the world. As a cornerstone of that,
The orientation of the New Socialist Republic in North America is to welcome immigrants from all over the world who have a sincere desire to contribute to the goals and objectives of this Republic, as set forth in this Constitution and in laws and policies which are established and enacted in accordance with this Constitution. [Article II, Section 3,H]