Gov. Greg Abbott balks after White House proposes stricter asylum rules

The White House wants to reject asylum claims for migrants with past criminal convictions, but the Texas governor called the proposed change 'feckless.'

click to enlarge Texas Gov. Greg Abbott holds a press conference in on the U.S.-Mexico border with other Republican governors. - Courtesy Photo / Texas Governor's Office
Courtesy Photo / Texas Governor's Office
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott holds a press conference in on the U.S.-Mexico border with other Republican governors.
Anyone needing more proof that Gov. Greg Abbott's pricy border crackdown is more performative than practical got that Friday, when Abbott blasted a White House proposals aimed at more quickly overturning migrants' asylum claims.

President Joe Biden on Thursday unveiled proposals to hasten the rejection of asylum claims for migrants with past criminal convictions. The new rule would allow federal officials at the border to deem migrants ineligible for asylum at their first screening rather than waiting for months — or years — for a judge to toss the claim.

Even though the changes are designed to turn away migrants who don't have legitimate claims — not to mention those who pose security risks — Abbott lashed out at Biden for making the effort. The Republican governor's screed is an apparent contradiction to his earlier claims that federal asylum processes are too lax.

"Joe Biden's feckless border proposals are the most minimal action possible. All to mask the crisis he created," the governor tweeted Friday. "Texas' efforts have led to a DECLINE in illegal crossings while on the rise in other states. Biden would do well to follow Texas' lead."

Never mind that Abbott has repeatedly couched his $10 billion Operation Lone Star immigration crackdown as being an effort to keep Texans safe. Why wouldn't he applaud an effort by the federal government to quickly turn back migrants with criminal records?

Perhaps the looming election is a bigger concern for Abbott than his constituents' actual security.

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Sanford Nowlin

Sanford Nowlin is editor-in-chief of the San Antonio Current.

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