Texas governor 'encouraging' attacks on migrants – Mexico
The Mexican Foreign Ministry has accused the Texas governor Greg Abbot of advocating “violent acts” against migrants attempting to reach the United States.
Last week, Abbott said his administration was doing all it could to tackle the immigration crisis, short of “shooting people.”
In a statement published on Friday night, Mexico’s Foreign Ministry called for “respect for human rights” while denouncing “all types of aggressive insinuations against a person's life.”
“Mexico deplores the comments made by Texas Governor Greg Abbot and expresses its deepest concern about any type of expression that encourages violent acts and the dehumanization of the migrant community,” the ministry said.
The statement was referring to a January 5 interview Abbot gave to radio host Dana Loesch, focusing on the migrant crisis. Asked whether more could be done to “protect the border” in his state, the governor answered in the negative.
“We are deploying every tool and strategy that we possibly can. The only thing that we're not doing is we're not shooting people who come across the border, because of course the Biden administration would charge us with murder,” Abbott said.
The comments also drew criticism from the Texas Democratic Party, with lawmakers accusing Abbott of endorsing violence.
“I can’t believe I have to say ‘murdering people is unacceptable,’” Rep. Veronica Escobar said in a social media post, while party chairman Gilbert Hinojosa argued that murder charges were “the only thing stopping Greg Abbott from ordering law enforcement to shoot migrant women and children.”
Pressed to clarify the comments during a news conference on Friday, Abbott suggested his words were taken out of context, and that he was responding to a specific question about legality.
“I was asked to point out… where the line is drawn about what would be illegal and I pointed out something that is obviously illegal,” he said.
Last month, Border Patrol reported 300,000 encounters with illegal immigrants, representing an all-time high. Republicans in Congress have accused President Biden of facilitating an “invasion,” while the Democratic majority has countered that blocking entry to asylum seekers would be “cruel” and “inhumane.”
As part of Operation Lone Star, Abbott has sought to build barriers along the border and detained almost 500,000 illegal immigrants. Texas has also bused over 97,000 migrants that the federal authorities had allowed into the country to Democrat-run jurisdictions of New York City, Chicago, Denver, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, and Washington, DC.