On Border Security…

Conservative Figures to Speak at a 3-day Border Security Rally This Weekend in McAllen

Former CBP Acting Commissioner Mark Morgan was among attendees at a speech former President Donald Trump gave on Jan. 12, 2021, at a section of border wall in Alamo, Texas. (Sandra Sanchez/Border Report File Photo)

I hadn’t planned to post again so soon after the last post, but I came across this and had to address it.

“The ‘We Stand America’ rally is planned for Friday through Sunday and is being hosted by several conservative, anti-illegal immigration groups, including Women Fighting for America, Veterans for America First, and Latinos for Trump, according to the Women Fighting For America’s website.

“The rally is part of a ‘Take Action Tour’ and will highlight border law enforcement, which organizers describe as ‘the essence of domestic security.’ There also will be a Sunday ‘rolling car protest on the border,’ the website says.

“’The McAllen, Texas, event will focus on border law enforcement and the direct connection to election integrity from a Biblical worldview,’ according to the We Stand America website.

“Most listed speakers are from out of town, including former U.S. Customs and Border Protection Acting Commissioner Mark Morgan, who served under President Donald Trump, and retired Gen. Michael Flynn. Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller also is listed as a speaker.”

Border security is, of course, an important topic. Borders are the entryways to any country and as such, they tend to be vulnerable. Defending those vulnerabilities is an important government function. But the questions that citizens of any country with borders has to ask is “what is the government protecting me from?” Illegal drugs and other contraband have been problems along the border with Mexico for decades. But even the degree of threat is questionable. George Diaz writes that “[f]or much of the border’s history, contraband trade across the international line consisted of tariff evasion on consumer goods, not the smuggling of prohibited items.”[1] Abraham and Van Schendel contend that “international organized criminal gangs” do not represent the majority of smugglers.[2] But there is no question that illegal drugs coming across the border is a serious problem. And that is the issue.

Conservatives like to throw around the term “border security.” But what do they mean? Texas governor Greg Abbot deployed the Texas National Guard to the border with Mexico in response to a crisis. That “crisis”? The arrival of Haitian immigrants to Del Rio Texas. Of course, by the time Abbott responded, that particular “crisis” had been dealt with by both the U.S. and Mexican governments, but apparently, Abbott believes thousands of immigrants showing up at the border is a constant threat. It hasn’t happened since. But Abbott, ready to jump on any fearmongering bandwagon likely to get him reelected launched Operation Lone Star (not to be confused with this Operation Lone Star, which sounds like a pretty good idea). Operation Lone Star, by the way, is not just a problem to liberals. Both The Military Times and The Army Times have taken issue with it (but as you probably know, both publications are liberal rags😒).

Abbott appears concerned about the safety of Texans and Americans in general (well, except that he is perfectly ok with thousands of Texans dying of Covid. But that’s for someone else to blog). But for Abbott, the primary threat is not Mexican cartels, drug smugglers, arms smugglers, or any of those sorts. For him, the primary threat is men, women, children, and families attempting to escape poverty and violence by taking America at is word when it says,

Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door

Even the Bush Institute recognizes the contributions of immigrants to American culture.

If Operation Lone Star and the desires of conservatives were about border security, Abbott would have sent the National Guard to the border specifically for drug interdiction. If their primary concern was American safety, there would be more administrators on the border, streamlining the immigration process in order to make sure that we know who is entering the country and their intentions. If this were all about security, we would be making friends with our neighbors, not vilifying them. If Abbott cared about the safety of Texans there would be mask and vaccine mandates and sensible gun laws that would have prevented the incredible amount of gun deaths in Texas this past year. But this is not about security. It is about white supremacy. It is about maintaining the status quo. Consider this quote from We Stand America:

“These illegals are beholden to their Marxist overlords. They get on the government dole, which is nothing other than redistributing your wealth to them. They are housed, fed, and transported across the country, again with government dollars (your dollars), tens of millions, reaching into the hundreds of millions, being funneled through Catholic Charities (who pretend destroying America is some kind of biblical imperative, that illegal immigrants have the same rights in a country that actual citizens have).”

This is what Operation Lone Star and the conservative fight for border security is all about. The immigrants are the enemy. The Catholic Church is the enemy. People of color who have made the borderlands their home for centuries are the enemy. All built on lies and misinformation.

This is about the bleaching of the borderlands.

[1] George T. Diaz, Border Contraband: A History of Smuggling Across the Rio Grande (Austin: University of Texas Press, 2015), 2

[2] Willem van Schendel and Itty Abraham, Illicit Flows and Criminal Things: States, Borders, and the Other Side of Globalization (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2010), 4.

Author: theprogressivehistorian

Immigration historian

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