The Texas Legislature has left Austin, and Gov. Greg Abbott has turned his attentions to the state’s border with Mexico, where the policy issues are difficult and the politics are rewarding.
By Ross Ramsey | 14 June 2021
THE TEXAS TRIBUNE — The Texas Legislature has gone home, and Gov. Greg Abbott — who’ll be seeking reelection next year — has returned to the top concern of the state’s Republican voters: immigration and border security.
The subject is familiar, and you might’ve heard this part of his pitch before: Abbott says he’s gonna build a wall. He also said state troopers, who’ve been dispatched to the border for years but who are barred from enforcing federal immigration law, will start arresting migrants on state charges. He also wants to increase local jail capacity along the border.
That’s fodder for a big policy debate, starting with where federal and state power over the border start and stop. But the politics are easy, as Donald Trump has already illustrated.
Whether anything actually happens — a wall gets built, an immigrant gets arrested — the governor benefits politically just by being in the fight. His voters feel that way, and he’s with them, and that’s the political win. […]