The unprecedented struggle between the state of Texas and the federal administration headed by Democrat Joe Biden began after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on January 22 to dismantle a 48-kilometer-long wire fence on the U.S.-Mexico border. The barbed fence was used by the state authorities to protect themselves from the influx of illegal migrants. The border was protected by members of the Texas National Guard. They politely (as a version) escorted the border guards out of the area, blaming them for negligent performance of their duties.
Earlier, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, in a letter to the Texas Attorney General, demanded «immediate access for U.S. immigration agents to the Eagle Pass border area». The letter of instruction went unheeded. But the Texas Attorney General responded to the Supreme Court’s decision by saying that the legislature was contributing to a «foreign invasion».
For his part, Clay Higgins, a Republican member of the House of Representatives from the state of Louisiana, made a risky statement: «I think the feds are starting a civil war».
In his speech, Texas Governor Greg Abbott named President Joe Biden as the culprit of the current conflict: «As a result of his actions, illegal migration has smashed all records. Despite having been put on notice in a series of letters one of which I delivered to him by hand President Biden has ignored Texas’s demand that he perform his constitutional duties. Under President Biden’s lawless border policies, more than 6 million illegal immigrants have crossed our southern border in just 3 years. That is more than the population of 33 different States in this country».
In the context of the immigration crisis and the direct conflict between Washington and Austin (the capital of Texas), two additional storylines are of critical importance.
First, the Republican governors of 25 states (exactly half of all subjects of the federation called the United States) issued a joint statement in support of Texas’ constitutionally sanctified right to self-defense (!).
The wording is very harsh: «President Biden and his Administration have left Americans and our country completely vulnerable to unprecedented illegal immigration pouring across the Southern border. Instead of upholding the rule of law and securing the border, the Biden Administration has attacked and sued Texas for stepping up to protect American citizens from historic levels of illegal immigrants, deadly drugs like fentanyl, and terrorists entering our country».
The governors also reminded that the Biden administration is «illegally allowing mass parole across America for migrants who illegally entered our country».
Most resounding was the last paragraph of the message, referring to the authors of the U.S. Constitution, the Founding Fathers, still seen by most as secular apostles of the faith. «The authors of the U.S. Constitution made clear that in times like this, states have a right of self-defense, under Article 4, Section 4 and Article 1, Section 10, Clause 3 of the U.S. Constitution. Because the Biden Administration has abdicated its constitutional compact duties to the states, Texas has every legal justification to protect the sovereignty of our states and our nation».
The stakes are raised: 25 states where Republican governors have unquestionable legitimacy as elected chief executives have supported Texas. They include Idaho, Wyoming, Montana, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Tennessee, South Carolina, Utah, and so on.
South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem’s words rang loudly. Stating that the Texas governor is doing the right thing, she added: «And I’ll drive him more razor wire from South Dakota if I have to for him to do his job».
What does that mean? The de facto split of the United States of America along party lines already mapped out has occurred. «Red» states (Republicans) have united against «blue» states (Democrats).
Second, the revenge-hungry former 45th president of the United States, Donald Trump, came into play and supported Greg Abbott that the «right to self-defense» is «the supreme law of the land and supersedes any federal statutes to the contrary».
Trump called on «all willing states to send their law enforcement officers to Texas to prevent illegals from coming in and send them back across the border». And announced, in effect, a campaign promise: «When I become president, on day one, instead of going to war with Texas, I will work hand-in-hand with Governor Abbott and other border states to stop the invasion, seal the border, and quickly launch the largest deportation operation in history».
The problems with illegal immigrants had been building up for years. And now, finally, quantity has turned into quality, highlighting the inability of authorities at the federal, regional (states), municipal (cities) and local (towns) levels to ensure a smooth transition of the “newcomers” into the new environment. The budgets of all state structures have been overstretched, unable to cope with the financial and material support of those newcomers who are not employed and, more often, do not have such an opportunity due to low qualifications, and who therefore cannot afford to rent, or even buy a house.
The current favorite in the race within the Republican Party for the nomination for the state’s highest office is not unreasonably expecting that the aggressive rhetoric he is proposing, which includes such a term as «deportation», will appeal to many voters.
«Don’t mess with Texas» was originally composed by that state’s Department of Transportation as a campaign slogan in the late 1980s against those who trash the highways. The verb to mess was used in its meaning of «to make a mess», «to soil», «to make dirty». But over time, the expression took on political overtones. Local patriotic separatists began to use the verb in another sense: “don’t mess”, they said, with proud and dreaming of independence Texas.
A number of American publications have dubbed what is happening now on the U.S.-Mexican border a prologue to a «replay of Civil War». This is a hasty judgment. There will be no war in the classical sense. This clearly staged conflict is a precursor to an acute phase of the presidential campaign, during which the Republicans will launch a further media offensive against 81-year-old «Sleepy Joe».
The governor’s demarche serves a dual purpose. First, it brings the issue of illegal aliens to the forefront. This is the most vulnerable point in Biden’s program theses, and in the upcoming public debate (if it takes place) any of his arguments will be beaten. And secondly, it is a demonstration of unity of the party of the elephant, to which Joe Biden predicted the complete disappearance.
The situation may well get out of control, although the White House is unlikely to consider the call by «some Democrats to seize control of the National Guard» in Texas as good advice. Meanwhile, state governors who refused to submit to the Biden administration and stand in solidarity with Abbott have already begun sending their guardsmen to help Texas. A united front of the Republican front is being built. A forceful option in this case may indeed be a prelude to separation of the states into parties.
After what has happened, it will be impossible to reconcile or even find a compromise within America’s opposing political class. It is possible that the Democrats will try everything in their power just to get Donald Trump out of the race.
For American elites, this whole mess is a sad thing.