“It’s not clear why the Texas Military Department plans to deploy the vehicles to the border,” Military Times and The Texas Tribune said. “Since Operation Lone Star began, the agency has not publicly acknowledged any incidents in which the protection provided by the more nimble Humvee vehicles deployed there was inadequate.”
But lack of transparency is exactly how Abbott’s Operation Lone Star has been operating. He boasts about how fucking successful his policies have been, yet he’s fought the public records requests that could prove that. ProPublica, Marshall Project, and The Texas Tribune have previously reported that Texas has boasted of drug seizures by counties that weren’t even receiving Operation Lone Star funds.
And we actually do know why these vehicles may soon roam American soil (also, where are they coming from?). GOP governors from Texas have frequently timed their anti-immigrant campaigns when Democrats are in power or when seeking office. Greg Abbott has already won his reelection. So it’s either a political tool against President Joe Biden and his administration, or he plans to run in 2024, or both. Ugh.
“After spending $4 billion in taxpayer funds on his disastrous border stunt, Greg Abbott has deployed 10 tanks to the Texas border,” tweeted Sawyer Hackett, senior advisor to former San Antonio mayor and Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro. “Border crossings have increased since he launched Operation Lone Star.”
Let’s also not forget that Abbott didn’t launch his operation until after Biden became president, even though it was the previous administration’s debunked Title 42 that began a rise in apprehensions.
Moving the tank-like vehicles to the southern border “didn’t surprise Fernando García, the executive director and founder of the Border Network for Human Rights, who said Abbott is ‘trying to justify the narrative of the invasion’ by casting asylum seekers and migrants seeking opportunities as violent criminals,” Military Times and The Texas Tribune continued.
“’For [Abbott] it’s easy to say there’s an invasion, and send troops to the border with a potential consequence of a major situation of human rights violations,’ García said.” Following his white nationalist declaration last week that the borderlands are under an “invasion” and that he was giving himself federal powers he doesn’t have, House lawmakers representing Texas urged a federal intervention.
“Legal authority aside, there is simply not an invasion happening at the border,” they wrote. “Many of the immigrants arriving at our border are exercising their right to claim asylum and other forms of humanitarian relief. They are not waging war against the United States or Texas.”