Texas Governor Greg Abbott on Friday defended commented that the state is doing everything in its power to prevent people from crossing the border illegally, nothing more than shooting them.
On Jan. 5, Abbott said on right-wing conservative Dana Loesch’s radio show that Texas is using every tool and strategy possible to stop people at the border.
“The only thing we don’t do is we don’t shoot people crossing the border because, of course, the Biden administration would charge us with murder,” Abbott said.
Abbott hinted at what would be illegal in an interview with Loesch at the end of Friday’s press conference on preparing for the coming inclement weather.
“I was asked to point out where the line is drawn as to what would be illegal, and I pointed out something that is clearly illegal,” he said, before quickly ending the press conference.
Moment audio clip The comment was first reported by the Heartland Signal, which posted on X on Thursday.
Loesch asked Abbott to explain the “hierarchy” of border control: “What can even be done, where they might say, ‘Governor, you’re breaking the law?’ … What is the maximum pressure you can exert as a governor to protect the border? he asked.
But critics said Abbott’s comments would sanction him if he could get away with shooting people crossing the border.
“The only thing stopping Greg Abbott from ordering law enforcement to shoot migrant women and children is murder charges,” Texas Democratic Party Chairman Gilbert Hinojosa said.
Mexico’s Foreign Affairs Secretariat condemned Abbott’s comments in a statement.
“Mexico expresses its concern about any expression that encourages acts of violence and the dehumanization of the migrant community,” the statement said. “We respect human rights and condemn any aggressive incitement against human life.”
At a news conference on Friday, a reporter asked if he might have comments was captured By someone like the El Paso shooter in summer 2019 Walmart store attacked it killed 23 people, most of them Spanish. Abbott replied, “Absolutely not.”
Abbott’s comments drew a sharp rebuke Thursday from Rep. Veronica Escobar, D-Texas, who represents El Paso.
“I can’t believe I have to say ‘killing people is unacceptable,'” Escobar tagged Abbott in X. “It’s language like yours that killed 23 people and injured 22 people in El Paso.”
A man with a gun told police his target was a “Mexican.” and said the attack was “a response to the Spanish invasion of Texas.”
Abbott came under fire for posting after the massacre fundraising mailingsdated the day before the massacre, decrying immigration and telling supporters that “if we’re going to DEFEND Texas, we have to take matters into our own hands.”
Abbott faced other backlash against local immigration operations dubbed Operation Lone Star.
In the document he submitted an ongoing Supreme Court case Against Texas, the Biden administration says the Border Patrol is not allowed to be on the 2.5-mile stretch of the Rio Grande where the state has built razor wire.
This area includes city-owned Shelby Park in Eagle Pass the state took over Wednesday morning. The court document said the Border Patrol could not access the boat ramp or staging area at the park, which it routinely uses to assess and screen migrants.
Abbott said at a press conference that “Texas has the legal authority to control entry and exit to any geographic location in the state of Texas. And this authority is being approved to maintain operational control of the park in Eagle Pass, Texas.”
Also Friday, Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker sent a letter to Abbott asking for “compassion” and urging Abbott to stop busing people across the border into Illinois. dangerous winter storm and sub-zero temperatures.
“Temperatures are forecast to drop below freezing in Chicago this weekend. Your recklessness in sending buses and planes full of migrants into this weather is now endangering the lives of every one who arrives. The health and survival of hundreds of children and families is at risk. It’s all about your actions,” Pritzker’s letter said. .