The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

Texas Governor Abbott’s Border Show

Mar 25, 2024

Texas Governor Abbott has been making one show after another about the “crisis on the border.”

He sent busloads of migrants to cities like Chicago and New York. He put up razor wire on the border and floating barriers in the Rio Grande river. He has spent more than 10 billion dollars deploying Texas State Police and National Guard troops on the border.

Now, the Abbott administration pushed through a law that would let Texas police arrest migrants who cross without permission, and let the state prosecute and deport them. The Biden administration objected that this law violates the constitution, which gives the power to enforce immigration to the federal government. In February, the courts sided with Biden and blocked the Texas law. Then, in March, the Supreme Court allowed it to go into effect—before, a few hours later, it was again blocked by an appeals court.

This is all part of the big show Republicans and Democrats are making over the border. Abbott claims that if Biden did what Texas was doing, “you would eliminate illegal immigration overnight.” Biden answers by saying that he proposed a harsh border restriction law, that would allow him to completely “close the border,” but it was blocked by Republicans in Congress.

In reality, immigration policy is and always has been driven by the needs of the bosses. In 2008, immigration was largely cut off as the economy collapsed. Then as the economy began to recover, and the demand for workers went up around 2014—so did immigration. Large numbers continued to arrive during Trump’s first three years—until the pandemic hit and the bosses panicked that the economy might collapse. Immigration was closed off again. By the middle of 2021, bosses started complaining about a labor shortage and … all of a sudden … the numbers of immigrants coming into the country went back up! As long as we have a government run in the interests of the companies, it will let in the immigrant workers the companies want. And as long as the world is organized by this capitalist, imperialist system that makes one country after another unlivable, there will be people needing to flee, looking to come here to find a job and survive.

So, what is this debate really about? Well, workers in Texas face the same problems as everywhere else—wages that don’t keep up with prices, rising homelessness, drug addiction and hopelessness. Neither party has an answer for these problems, created by this capitalist system in decay. Blaming immigrants for these problems lets the real culprits off the hook—the capitalists who run this whole society in order to maximize their profits, and the politicians of both parties who help them do it.