During Biden visit, Abbott cries he 'desperately needs more money' after wasting billions on stunts

President Joe Biden traveled to the southern border for the first time during his term this past Sunday, meeting U.S. border officers and local elected officials at El Paso’s busiest port of entry and making an unannounced stop at the border wall.

While the president didn’t meet any migrants on the heels of announcing a widely-condemned proposal further restricting the U.S. asylum rights of migrants, he toured the El Paso County Migrant Services Center, which aids newly arrived migrants processed and released by federal immigration officials.

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As previously mentioned, Republicans have been obsessed with the topic of Biden not yet visiting the region during his presidency. It’s a disingenuous obsession; their immigration plans consist mostly of border stunts. But, they finally got their wish. Biden went to the border. Their reaction? Predictable projection. Speaker-for-now Kevin McCarthy called the visit a “photo op,” falsely claiming the administration has created “the most dangerous border crisis in American history.”

Big words from someone who has been a fan of border stunts when he needs some attention off himself. Then this nonsense about the “most dangerous border crisis” ever? Others might argue that the most dangerous breach in American history wasn’t carried out by vulnerable migrants and families seeking refuge in our nation, but rather by insurrectionists who scaled a wall outside the U.S. Capitol two years ago. 

House Republicans, now in power, have been seeking to keep a lid on documents related to the probe into this deadly attack on democracy. But, hey, they chanted “USA!” when they finally put Kevin out of his misery and gave him the gavel (for now) on the fifteenth vote. They just have a funny way of showing they love America.

But Kevin’s wasn’t the most ridiculous Republican reaction to result from the president’s visit to El Paso. That distinct honor belongs to Texas Gov. Greg Abbott. While former Arizona Gov. Jan “headless bodies in the desert” Brewer infamously greeted former President Barack Obama with a finger in his face, Abbott was prepared with a letter, which could have easily been sent to Washington. But he wanted to give it to the president on the tarmac, in front of cameras and eyes, because Republicans love their photo ops. Projection. 

As numerous pointed out on social media, the letter was like Abbott himself: ridiculous. The governor “told media he’d given President Biden a letter with proposed solutions,” El Paso Matters’ Bob Moore tweeted. Laughable. The political letter was loaded with demands that the president is already carrying out, like continuing to enforce the debunked Title 42 policy. Abbott also falsely claimed Biden is “sandbagging the implementation of the Remain-in-Mexico policy.” Sir, the Supreme Court said the president acted lawfully in attempting to end that policy. While a right-wing judge has since said the president can’t end it, Remain in Mexico can’t be fully reinstated without Mexico’s cooperation, and Mexico has said it’s done with the policy.

Speaking of the Supreme Court, the president is not only continuing the Title 42 order pursuant to its ruling last month, he’s expanded it. That was curiously not mentioned in Abbott’s political letter. But then came a real doozy outside the political letter, when Abbott cried to reporters that his state “desperately needs more money.” 

“I know the Republicans in the US House have committed to providing Texas the money that we need,” Abbott said, according to Business Insider. “We just finished over the past two years spending 4 billion of Texas taxpayer dollars for Texas to fill the gap caused by the Biden administration.”

This financial hole has been caused by you, Greg. You see, in his bid for political power, Abbott has carried out immigration-related stunt after immigration-related stunt that’s cost the state’s taxpayers billions and led to huge business ramifications for the state. Remember the disastrous stunt where Abbott forced truckers to undergo inspections by state police after their vehicles had already been inspected by U.S. officials? The losses to vegetable and fruit producers alone were estimated at over $240 million. 

Overall, the redundant inspections cost his state $4 billion in losses and turned up nothing. While state inspectors cited a couple of hundred drivers for minor infractions that included under-inflated tires and oil leaks, no migrants or drugs were uncovered. Mexico, by the way, as a result of these shenanigans, decided to reroute a proposed railway through New Mexico instead, pissed off over the stunt.

None of these even touches on the unrelated, illegal Operation Lone Star, which has cost the state another $4 billion and is currently under investigation by both the Justice Department and the Treasury Department for possibly operating with misused federal pandemic funds. But we’re not quite done yet, folks, because Abbott’s busing of migrants—including sick children—has also cost as much as $20 million, Business Insider said.

Rep. Veronica Escobar, a great champion of migrants and their rights, also had her own exchange with Abbott, Moore reported. He, at one point, told her that migrants should go to seek asylum at a port of entry, to which she responded that they’re currently not allowed to do that because of Title 42. “He said going between ports is illegal, and I reminded him seeking asylum is legal,” she continued. 

The child wrote “Lord, I ask that you take me from here soon, help me with with my case, I want to be with my mom and my sister soon, amen.” Every time I visit the border I leave with memories of the children I’ve seen. Their faces and stories often haunt me. Bless this kid. https://t.co/H2WEm2Opp1

— Aaron Reichlin-Melnick (@ReichlinMelnick) January 9, 2023

No one, including Republicans, truly believe that a border visit really does anything to immediately begin fixing our inhumane immigration system. “But talking to people on the ground, organizations working with asylum seekers, to get a sense of what they need and are seeing, is helpful,” tweeted America’s Voice Campaigns Director Mario Carrillo.

Texas Public Radio reporter Pablo De La Rosa added that a visit to an organization like El Paso County Migrant Services Center “is probably many steps closer to help with ‘the mess’, as some have called it, than asking your Attorney General to place them under investigation.” 

He’s pointing to an intimidation effort by Abbott that orders very corrupt state attorney general Ken Paxton to probe whether non-government groups aiding newly arrived migrants have been engaged in illegal behavior. Abbott, who admitted that he publicly lied about his busing of migrants to blue areas, provided zero evidence and “did not say what prompted the call,” The Texas Tribune reported.

Texas Republicans have also focused their ire on a pro-migrant Catholic organization. Just like Jesus would do. 

“We were happy to have President Biden come and see first-hand the situation we are facing in El Paso,” said Maria Torres, Senior US Border Program Manager for Jesuit Refugee Service/USA, said in a statement received by Daily Kos. “While we know there is not an immediate fix or one that comes from the President alone, hopefully, his visit will shine a light on the dire situation we face and that the President will better understand the realities migrants and asylum seekers face. We urge him to work closely with Congress to develop a long-term solution.” 


Citing ‘moral and legal responsibility,’ lawmakers urge Biden admin to reconsider Title 42 expansion

Greg Abbott ends disastrous stunt that cost fruit and vegetable producers an estimated $240 million

Citing ‘moral and legal responsibility,’ lawmakers urge Biden admin to reconsider Title 42 expansion