Last Wednesday (6), a district judge ordered the removal of buoys placed by the Texas government along the Rio Grande, on the border with Mexico. The measure was announced by Republican Governor Greg Abbott at the beginning of the year as a way to make it more difficult for undocumented immigrants to cross.
The floating barrier generated several criticisms. Immigrant advocacy groups argued that the barrier would increase the number of drownings. In fact, last month a body was found near the buoys.
Mexican President Andres Manuel López Obrador directly criticized the Texas governor after the body was found in the Rio Grande: “Abbott shouldn’t act like that. This is inhumane.” Weeks earlier, Mexico’s government had filed a formal complaint with the United States government about the barrier.
In response, the US ambassador to Mexico also criticized the installation of the buoys and the Department of Justice requested that the barrier be removed. From then on, the issue is in court. Yesterday, an appeals court in Texas allowed the government to maintain the barrier until a final court decision is made.
Migration crisis at the border
Republicans have long criticized the White House’s immigration policies. With the end of the covid-19 emergency, asylum requests at the border with Mexico were reestablished, thus increasing the number of crossings.
Law in the United States obliges the State to process asylum applications. Currently, with the high number, a process takes on average more than 4 years to complete. The law, however, prohibits people from being detained for more than 60 days.
In short, they are released into the country with the commitment to appear before the court, which generally does not happen, for fear of denial of the process and, consequently, deportation.
Since last year, Republican governors, mainly Greg Abbott, from Texas, and Ron DeSantis, from Florida, decided to adopt a new tactic. With chartered buses, and sometimes even planes, they began sending groups of undocumented immigrants to Democratic cities and states.
Migration crisis away from the border
The Republicans’ tactic is as if to say: “you don’t like immigrants? Then take it home.” Thousands of them were sent to California, Massachusetts, New York and cities like Chicago and Denver. Locations that were not prepared for the high flow.
In New York City alone, the city hall states that more than 110,000 immigrants have arrived awaiting asylum applications since April 2022. People arriving daily at the Port Authority bus station in Manhattan.
New York law obliges city hall to guarantee shelter to all immigrants, which has led the city to a state of emergency. First there were no places in shelters, then in hotel rooms paid for by the city hall. Finally, the government began setting up makeshift shelters in school gymnasiums during the summer holidays.
On Wednesday, Eric Adams, the Democratic mayor of New York, said the migration crisis “will destroy New York.” He raised his tone and harshly criticized President Joe Biden and the state governor, Kathy Hochul, also a Democrat, for not helping the city hall.
According to Adams, the city is receiving 10,000 new immigrants per month and he said he doesn’t know what else to do. Another concern raised was about schools. With the return to school on September 7th, the expectation is that 20 thousand new immigrant children will be absorbed into the municipal education system.
A month ago, the governor of Massachusetts declared a state of emergency for the same reasons. Maura Healey, also a Democrat, said there is no longer a solution to shelter the immigrants who all land in the state. Like Adams, she called for work permits to be granted more quickly so that immigrants can work and look for their own homes.
The criticisms, of course, are being heavily publicized by Republicans.
Editing: Thales Schmidt