Convoys, conspiracies and conservative grudges are fueling the battle at Texas border | EUROtoday

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A convoy full of self-described peaceable protesters departed Virginia this week, certain for the US-Mexico border. Its last vacation spot is Eagle Pass, Texas, the place National Guard troops mobilised by Governor Greg Abbott have been trying to take enforcement of the US-Mexico border out of the fingers of the federal authorities.

The row centres round claims from Mr Abbott, in addition to different conservatives, that extra must be executed to toughen the border on the Rio Grande and halt unlawful immigration into the United States. Despite a Supreme Court order, state officers have been going through off with Border Patrol so as to forestall the Biden administration from slicing down razor wire alongside the fencing.

Dozens of Republican governors and former president Donald Trump voiced their help for Mr Abbott’s refusal to adjust to the federal authorities. Social media and right-wing media shops predictably lit up with commenters evaluating the scenario to the US Civil War – with some excited by the prospect.

The “Take Our Border Back” convoy – a small group of conservatives travelling to Eagle Pass to rally in help of Mr Abbott – is only one of a number of protests deliberate towards immigration and the Biden administration on the whole.

Experts concern the convoy will doubtless function a lightning rod for right-wing gangs, militants, and white supremacists.

“Data we collected tells us emphatically that the standoff between Texas and the federal government has become a magnet for far-right vigilantism,” Devin Burghart, the manager director for the Institute for Research and Education on Human Rights, mentioned ata press convention on Thursday, based on Wired.

He mentioned the convoy was made up of largely the identical varieties of people that joined the group on the Capitol riot.

“From the convoy steering committee on down, the protest comprises many of the same dangerous elements as the January 6 insurrection: militia members, election deniers, QAnon conspiracists, Covid deniers, and other hardcore far-righters,” he mentioned.

Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin speaks to ‘Take Our Border Back’ convoy members in Dripping Springs, Texas


Proud Boys gang members, neo-Nazis, and different militant anti-government teams have been vocal of their help of Mr Abbott, and haven’t been coy of their requires violence on the border.

A member of the South Texas Proud Boys advised his Telegram followers to “grab your guns,” whereas members of the neo-Nazi Aryan Network referred to as for “resistance’ by white men, saying “to hell with the United States of America.”

For Mr Abbott and other Republicans, illegal immigration has served as a convenient — though often misrepresented — cudgel to use against Joe Biden’s presidency.

The conservative insistence that migrants are flowing over the border unchecked came to a head last month when Mr Abbott used National Guard troops to take over a park in Eagle Pass, Texas, where US Border Patrol agents formerly processed migrants crossing the Rio Grande into the city.

The National Guardsmen — part of Mr Abbott’s troubled “Operation Lone Star” — have been laying down concertina wire to entangle migrants and discourage crossing. They also erected a barrier in the nearby Rio Grande, which critics have said is ineffective and poses a threat both to the life of migrants trying to cross the river and to the environment.

The federal government has maintained that immigration enforcement is solely its responsibility, and that Texas has overstepped by physically stopping US agents from conducting enforcement at the border.

(© 2024 Sam Owens / San Antonio Express-News)

Mr Abbott has refused to pull out of the 47-acre Shelby Park, justifying his use of National Guard troops by insisting that Texas is being “invaded,” according to the Texas Tribune. Not only is the state facing invasion, Mr Abbott argues, but that invasion is being aided by policies enacted by the Biden administration.

Federal judges have largely struck down Mr Abbott’s arguments, with one calling the claims “breathtaking”.

Not unlike the truck convoy mobilised in 2022 by conservatives protesting coronavirus rules, the border convoy has seen its share of hiccups on its journey to Texas.

A group of 19 vehicles set out from Virginia earlier this week, and several immediately lost their way. Reports suggest infighting and paranoia between some members of the convoy, with a convicted pedophile apparently joining their ranks.

The convoy did manage to draw a sizable group of supporters at a brewery event on Thursday, including a Christian nationalist pastor who told supporters to draw “a blood line round Texas, round America.”

While the conflict at the border is ostensibly about immigration, it is difficult to ignore the broader issues looming over the standoff. Texas has long been home to extreme right-wing secessionists who want to see the Lone Star state stand alone. Mr Abbott’s conflict with the federal government have only encouraged those calling for a break.

Daniel Miller, a leader of the the state’s secessionist movement, called Mr Abbott’s actions validating.

Trump claims he will send Texas ‘reinforcements’ to deal with border control

“It validates and confirms the place we have had all alongside, which is that if Texas ever desires to actually safe its border … the one approach we’re going to do it’s as an unbiased and self-governing nation,” Mr Miller mentioned, based on the Texas Tribune.

For some far-right, conservatives, unlawful immigration is seen as a car utilized by Democrats to fill the nation with voters that may again them in elections.

“Everyone in power, from the White House, to the hedge fund managers, to the Supreme Court of the United States has decided to destroy the country by allowing it to be invaded,” former Fox News host Tucker Carlson wrote final week on X/Twitter. “That leaves the population to defend itself. Where are the men of Texas? Why aren’t they protecting their state and the nation?”

While conservatives converge on Eagle Pass to air out their different grievances with the Biden administration, the town’s residents are left enjoying host to a battle some see as little greater than political theatre.

A metropolis official talking to NBC News on situation of anonymity mentioned that Mr Abbott’s National Guardsmen and Florida state troops despatched to help him by Governor Ron DeSantis broken the irrigation system on the park’s public golf course by parking their autos on the course.

Juanita Martinez, an Eagle Pass resident and the chair of the county’s Democratic get together, discovered herself unable to entry Shelby Park as a result of the Texas National Guard — directed by Mr Abbott — had closed the park within the curiosity of “safety and security.”

“It’s a big scam, it’s political propaganda,” she mentioned. “What is our message to Abbott? Get the hell out of Maverick County and get the hell out of our park. We don’t need you here.”