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How the border standoff between Texas and federal Govt might further split America

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Migrants at U.S. border

BEIJING | Xinhua | Authorities in the southern U.S. state of Texas are in a standoff with the federal government over a sharp immigration dispute.

Observers have argued that the standoff reflects the nation’s political fray, warning against a potential constitutional crisis that might further split the country. They also believe immigration will emerge as a critical issue in this year’s election.

“UNPRECEDENTED” STANDOFF

Immigration has long been among the most controversial topics in the United States.

In recent years, the Democratic and Republican parties in the United States have been at odds over immigration issues. After Democrat Joe Biden became President of the United States, Texas Governor Greg Abbott and other Republicans frequently challenged the Biden administration over policy on illegal immigration, accusing it of inaction.

These Republicans have chartered buses and planes to send illegal immigrants to Democratic-led cities. The White House has criticized Abbott and other Republicans for using immigrants as a “stunt” for political purposes.

The Texas authorities disagreed with the federal government regarding border law enforcement, and the case was taken to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Earlier last week, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Texas cannot block Border Patrol agents from cutting the razor wires set by Texas along the U.S.-Mexico border as part of the state’s response to a “crisis at the border.”

Abbott has refused to obey the ruling, with the Texas National Guard continuing to roll out razor wires along the border. Abbott said the Constitution had granted Texas the right to defend and protect itself and that Biden had failed to fulfill his duty to secure the U.S. border by allowing millions of immigrants to enter the country illegally from the southern border.

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“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. This illegal refusal to protect the States has inflicted unprecedented harm on the People all across the United States,” he said in a statement on Wednesday.

A CBS News report called the “standoff” between Texas and the federal government at the southern border “unprecedented.”

A POSSIBLE “CIVIL WAR”?

The standoff between Texas and the federal government has further aggravated the partisan divide in the United States.

Last week, 25 other GOP governors released a joint statement in support of Abbott and Texas’ constitutional right to self-defense. Trump, who is running for president in 2024, has also sided with Abbott.

Far-right congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene has even called for a “national divorce” in the United States to split the country based on political ideology into “red” Republican states and “blue” Democratic states.

Republicans in the U.S. House announced impeachment charges against Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, accusing him of “willfully and systematically refusing to obey the law” on immigration issues, leading to a failure to control immigration at the U.S.-Mexico border.

However, House Democrats accused Republicans of abusing their impeachment power to undermine efforts to address immigration issues.

Democratic members of Congress, including Joaquin Castro, have called on the Biden administration to take a tougher stance with Texas, such as “federalizing” the Texas National Guard and subjecting them to a Supreme Court ruling and relevant federal laws.

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“Greg Abbott and the Republicans in Texas have become bloodthirsty,” said Castro on a press call with other Texas Democrats.

The New York Post wrote in an editorial that the “war” between Biden and Abbott puts the United States at risk of a constitutional crisis.

In an interview on Fox News’ Sunday Morning Futures, Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick said his state does not want a confrontation with the Biden administration.

However, when asked whether this situation will “turn into a civil war,” Patrick reiterated that Texas has a constitutional right to secure its border. “We believe constitutionally we are right, we have a right to defend our citizens, we have a right to defend this country, and we are just doing our job.”

IMPACT ON ELECTION

Immigration, one of the most politically divisive and complex matters in the United States, is emerging as a top issue in the 2024 election.

As the primary season for the 2024 U.S. presidential election gets underway, a recent opinion poll showed that immigration is the top policy concern for American voters.

Meanwhile, nearly two-thirds of the interviewed in the poll believe the immigration problem has worsened during the Biden administration.

Biden said the White House team is negotiating with members of both parties on an immigration bill to seriously address the “crisis at the border.”

American columnist Julio Ricardo Varela believes that public opinion may pressure Biden into taking a tougher stance on immigration issues to hedge Trump’s advantages on immigration issues. While Latino voters helped Biden win in 2020, Biden’s choice to be more like Trump on immigration may backfire on him for the 2024 election.

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Trump has always taken a tough stance on immigration issues, advocating the large-scale construction of a border wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Since announcing his 2024 presidential campaign, Trump has continued to play the “immigration card” and repeatedly attacked the Biden administration over immigration and border policies.

In the 2016 presidential election, border security was a crucial issue believed to have helped Trump win. His supporters consisted of white, blue-collar workers and individuals with less education who wanted the federal government to implement stricter immigration and border policies.

As the 2024 race increasingly becomes a likely rematch between Trump and Biden, immigration will emerge as a key 2024 election wedge issue. ■

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