It could be the title of a western. “Operation Lone Star”: under this code name, which refers to the star featured on the Texas banner, Republican Governor Greg Abbott is launching a challenge to Washington. Exasperated by the inability of Joe Biden’s Democratic administration to stem the flow of illegal immigrants from the Mexican border, considered uncontrollable, the governor ordered, at the end of January, the Texas National Guard to occupy a park urban, Shelby Park, in the town of Eagle Pass.
On the other side of these 19 hectares, flows the Rio Grande, the border with Mexico. In the name of “protecting the sovereignty of our State”, his men installed barbed wire there and prohibited access to agents of the border police, the federal administration in principle responsible for their surveillance and accused of laxity. Since then, all these soldiers in uniforms and weapons have looked at each other, each side being assured of embodying legality.
The conflicts between central power in Washington and the fifty states are as old as the founding of the United States in 1776. But this is the first time that the subject of immigration has triggered a crisis of this type. Texas is, it is true, experiencing a record influx of illegal immigrants: the police and firefighters are overwhelmed by emergency aid to illegal immigrants who cross the river into cold waters at their own risk, local hospitals are clogged with illegal immigrants. new arrivals. In the month of last November alone, 250,000 illegal immigrants attempted to cross the border. A pressure that even Joe Biden finds unbearable for the country.
Donald Trump stirs up tension
No fewer than 25 Republican state governors proclaimed their support for Abbott against the federal capital. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis even sent soldiers from the Florida National Guard in support. The Supreme Court certainly ruled in favor of lifting the barbed wire erected by the Texan government, but it persists.
“This is a blow to the separation of powers and the principles of government in the United States,” said constitutional law professor Charles Rhodes at the South Texas College of Law in Houston. In fact, we have to go back to the 1950s and 1960s, during the resistance to the desegregation policy imposed by Washington in the South, to see states so head-on opposing a decision of the supreme judicial authority. In the current showdown, the host of the White House can resolve the situation by ordering the Texas National Guard to be brought under his control, but politically this remains risky. What if she refused?
Because, in the Republican camp, candidate Donald Trump is stoking tension, happy with this diversion which weakens Joe Biden and distracts public opinion from the legal convictions which are beginning to fall on the ex-president. Trump is pushing Republican elected officials to one-upmanship. Before the campaign begins, Joe Biden, candidate for re-election, must regain control of the southern border if he wants to hope to win.