The controversy surrounding immigration and border patrol recently got even more concerning. Politicians in Texas have taken it upon themselves to send National Guard troops, as well as state law-enforcement personnel, to protect the Mexican border. Furthermore, they are hoping that the nation’s taxpayers with help pay for a $2.8 billion bill for these efforts. Unsurprisingly, this has many people upset.
Texas is claiming that this border surge is a security move in order to make sure guns, drugs and people without documentation do not make it across the border. The claim was that the state forces would let the federal immigration officers know about people who crossed the border without documents. What actually transpired was a different story. The program began at the same time Rick Perry was campaigning for state governor. The program grew when he ran for president and expanded even further under the current Governor Greg Abbott.
Texas deployed these National Guard troops without getting the federal government to agree to underwrite any of the cost. The program exceeds the responsibility of a state government. Immigration controls and security are both federal jurisdictions and when a state takes these issues on for itself, there are bound to be a lot of people who are unhappy with it. Many feel that the Texas state government is stepping in where it doesn’t belong.
It is already raising some eyebrows that Texas’ state government is taking on a federal responsibility, but what’s worse is that the nation’s taxpayers are being asked to foot the bill. Even some Texas Republicans are starting to question whether the patrols are a good idea, since they are costly and there is little evidence that they have an impact. The ACLU feels that the increase in police in the area has instilled fear in the people who live on the border due to the possibility of racial profiling and other symptoms of over policing.
This is not the first move Texas’ government has made in hopes of countering immigration. Government officials have led efforts to do away with the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents program, a program put in place to grant relief to parents of legal U.S. residents. Texan politicians have also made efforts to rein in expansion of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. These Texas government officials even challenged the administration’s authority to alter the limit under which white-collar workers are required to be paid for overtime hours. While this last point doesn’t directly have to do with immigration, it does show the strong desire of the Texas state government to override the power of the federal government when they disagree. It is not surprising that Texas state government officials have once again done something that oversteps their boundaries.
The actions taken by Texas’ government are harmful to the communities who live on the border. Seeing this kind of action being taken at the border can be especially worrisome for America’s immigrant communities. Taxpayers around the country should be displeased that they may in the future be asked to pay for the Texas border patrol efforts.