Greg Abbott’s Comments on Shooting Migrants Sparks Furious Backlash

Gun Rights

Greg Abbott’s comments about not shooting migrants attempting to cross into Texas because the Biden administration would charge him “with murder” has sparked a backlash.

During a radio interview on January 5 for The Dana Show, the Republican governor was asked by host Dana Loesch, a former National Rifle Association (NRA) spokesperson and Breitbart News editor, about how far his administration would go to control the southern border.

“For the people who don’t live in border states, explain the hierarchy and the process. Like what can be done like right up to the line, where maybe they would come and say, ‘Governor, you’re breaking the law, we got to arrest you for trying to enforce the law at the border.’ Like what is the maximum amount of pressure that you as governor can implement to protect the border?” Loesch asked.

“We’re doing everything we possibly can,” said Abbott, as shown in a clip of the interview released on X, formerly known as Twitter, on Thursday by Heartland Signal. “The only thing that we’re not doing – we’re not shooting people that come across the border because, of course, the Biden administration would charge us with murder.”

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Newsweek reached out to Abbott’s office for comment by email on Friday.

The number of migrant arrivals at the United States-Mexico border has risen significantly in the past year, with border authorities encountering more than 225,000 individuals in December 2023, according to Homeland Security data shared with CNN.

Abbott’s efforts to curb migration at the border in Texas have also grown in recent months, with the Republican governor escalating his anti-migrant rhetoric and employing methods that have been condemned by Democrats, migrant rights advocates and the Mexican authorities. Those include the busing of migrants to blue states and the introduction of a floating barrier with circular saws along the Rio Grande.

Earlier this month, the Biden administration sued Texas over a new law signed into effect by Abbott which would allow local law enforcement to arrest migrants and allow judges to order deportations, saying the measure violates the constitutional mandates giving federal authorities sole responsibility for border enforcement.

The governor’s latest remarks have raised new concerns.

Texas Democrats issued a statement condemning Abbott’s comments, saying the governor’s words make “abundantly clear” that Texas Republicans “have no morality or humanity.”

Texas Democratic Party chair Gilberto Hinojosa accused Abbott and Texas Republicans of considering “separating families, medieval death traps, and mass imprisonment of migrants and Texans” as the only solutions to secure the borders from undocumented migrants.

“This is the same rhetoric endorsed by domestic terrorists such as the El Paso shooter, U.S. Senator Ted Cruz and former President Donald Trump – who recently echoed Adolf Hitler by accusing immigrants of ‘poisoning the blood of our country,'” Hinojosa said, adding that this approach is dangerous for both the migrants and the state of Texas.

The racially motivated mass shooting in El Paso, Texas, in 2019 killed 23 people. The gunman had talked about a “Hispanic invasion” in a manifesto published online.

Greg Abbott; immigration
Migrants climb over a fence into Eagle Pass, Texas, from Mexico on August 25, 2023. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (inset) said that he’s doing anything to stop immigration at the Texas border short of shooting migrants.
Getty Images

“It is our duty to protect our country’s most vulnerable, and Texas Republicans’ dehumanization of these communities will continue until their authoritarian policies prevail – or apparently, until they catch a murder charge,” Hinojosa said, inviting Texas to support more moderate politicians in the incoming Texas primary on March 5.

Texas Representative Veronica Escobar, a Democrat, wrote on X, tagging Abbott: “I can’t believe I have to say ‘murdering people is unacceptable.’ It’s language like yours that left 23 people dead and 22 others injured in El Paso.”

Social media users commenting on the audio mocked Abbott for being a “Christian pro-lifer” but talking lightly about the shooting of migrants at the southern border.

“Yes Greggo, shooting people is murder. Ladies and gentlemen, the ‘pro-life, conservative Christian’ for you,” X user @RobertPalaschak wrote. “Abbott plays at being a Christian and pro-life. He’s neither one,” @GinnyMcDonald8 posted.

Uncommon Knowledge

Newsweek is committed to challenging conventional wisdom and finding connections in the search for common ground.

Newsweek is committed to challenging conventional wisdom and finding connections in the search for common ground.

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