News from State and Local Operations (NL2309)
Invoking the old adage, ‘If you want to get something done, do it yourself,’ Texas Governor Greg Abbott (literally) floated the idea of putting buoys in the Rio Grande river to deter migrants from attempting to ford the dangerous river in an attempt to enter the United States illegally. The buoys are deployed in thousand foot stretches and anchored to the riverbed to prevent migrants from swimming underneath. In a letter to President Biden, Abbott stated, “I have asserted Texas’s ‘sovereign interest in protecting [its] borders,” he wrote. “I have done so in my role as the commander-in-chief of our State’s militia under Article IV, § 7 of the Texas Constitution.” Anticipating accusations that placing barriers in the Rio Grande pose a danger to the migrants, Abbott tweeted that the real dangers stem from Biden policies that “encourage migrants to risk their lives crossing illegally through the Rio Grande.”
Predictably, Gov. Abbott’s efforts to stop people from attempting to cross the river illegally was met with a lawsuit from the Department of Justice, and joined by the government of Mexico, and an assortment of open borders advocacy groups. The suit contends that the buoys violate the 1899 Rivers and Harbors Act which bars the creation of any obstructions in navigable waterways (as though the steady stream of people crossing the river is not an impediment to navigation). For now, the buoys remain as Texas continues to protect the interests and safety of it citizenry.
Thanks to a bill signed into law in late July by Gov. J.B. Pritzker, many newly arrived illegal aliens could become eligible to become police officers in the state of Illinois. Under House Bill 3751, “an individual who is not a citizen but is legally authorized to work in the United States under federal law is authorized to apply for the position of a police officer, subject to all requirements and limitations, other than citizenship, to which other applicants are subject.”
“Legally authorized to work” is not the same as being a legal resident of the United States, much less a citizen. The people being allowed to enter the country to pursue mostly frivolous asylum claims are illegal aliens, but they are being granted work authorization because they are likely to be here for a long time while they game the system. HB 3751 dovetails nicely with newly inaugurated Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson’s stated goal of opening up city employment to immigrant communities, such as becoming police officers. Thus, if Gov. Pritzker’s and Mayor Johnson’s visions for their state and city come to fruition, citizens of other countries who are violating federal laws could soon be enforcing state and local laws against American citizens.
District of Columbia
Mayor Muriel Bowser has been vocal in her complaints every time a busload of migrants turn-up in her city on buses provided by the state of Texas (though, curiously, not when they arrive courtesy of the Biden administration). The nation’s capital already has a huge homeless problem, a dearth of affordable housing and myriad other problems to deal with. But none of that deterred the city council from approving the Local Rent Supplement Program Eligibility Temporary Amendment Act, which prohibits the D.C. Housing Authority from asking about immigration status for local rent supplement vouchers under its Rent Supplement Program. Mayor Bowser chose not to veto the bill, but rather allowed it to be enacted without her signature. Thus, when it comes to helping people find a place to live in a city where rents are soaring, a homeless veteran and an illegal migrant who rolled into town yesterday, will be on the same footing.