Gov. Greg Abbott of Texas may cave to the far-right wing and invoke war powers in order to subvert federal authority and start rounding up and deporting migrants
May 4, 2022

Of course, there is no war going on – except for the right-wing war on everything and everyone not in lockstep with Fox News' Tucker Carlson’s white-nationalist authoritarianism. So it’s no surprise that his and Fox’s “invasion” rhetoric has spread like a virus and is now pressuring Abbott into sabotaging federal law (another right-wing wet dream) and arresting immigrants like some kind of old west posse.

Now, with Abbott’s re-election looming and the last known poll showing him in a statistical dead heat with Democrat Beto O’Rourke, Abbott has announced he’s looking into declaring that a non-existent war exists. From Vice News:

According to a highly doubtful theory now being pushed in conservative circles, language in the Constitution could be read to suggest that states can assert war powers on their own if they’re facing a foreign invasion. Doing so would allow Abbott to assume powers that are normally reserved for the federal government.

“This is something that I began studying when I was the attorney general of Texas,” Abbott said during a roundtable on Thursday. “The operation, as it would work, is to [detain] these people and deport them immediately.”

Abbott continued: “So, is it something we're looking into? Yes. You know me well enough that you know I will look at every legal issue about a policy before we undertake action on that issue.”

Abbott’s border stunts have not exactly gone well so far. As The New York Times noted on Friday, his billion-dollar Operation Lone Star has done little more than get him friendly hits on Fox News, at taxpayer expense. “Even as Mr. Abbott has directed more than $3 billion to border security, and approved an additional $500 million on Friday, he has little to show for it beyond drug seizures and arrest figures,” the Times reported. “Still, his efforts to tighten border security and harden Texas’ 1,254-mile frontier have helped Mr. Abbott, a Republican, hold off challenges from his right and made the lawyerly governor into a regular on Fox News.”

It's no wonder he's staling for time. I would imagine that a legal showdown with the feds that he would likely lose is not a campaign priority for Abbott. But neither is being characterized as soft on immigration by Fox News. If it comes to one or the other, my money says he’ll go with the Fox hits, taxpayers be damned.

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