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Texas Sen. Gutierrez Slams Gov. Abbott Immigration Crackdown After Mom & 2 Children Drown in Rio Grande

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Texas defied a Biden administration cease-and-desist order this week to dismantle its border barrier near the city of Eagle Pass, where state troopers took over a 2.5-mile stretch and installed fencing, gates and razor wire. Last Friday, a mother and her two children drowned in the Rio Grande near Eagle Pass when Border Patrol agents were denied access to the area by state officials acting under orders from Republican Texas Governor Greg Abbott. “Day after day after day, people are drowning because of the obstacles that this man put in the river,” says Democratic Texas state Senator Roland Gutierrez. “No obstacle, no barrier is going to fix this problem. We need comprehensive immigration reform in this country.”

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This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

AMY GOODMAN: Texas state Senator Roland Gutierrez, we only have a few minutes, but I want to ask you about another topic, the showdown on the border. This week Texas defied a Biden administration cease-and-desist order to dismantle its border barrier near the city of Eagle Pass, after it sent troopers to take over a two-and-a-half-mile stretch and install fencing, gates and razor wire — this coming after a mother and her two children drowned in the Rio Grande last Friday near Eagle Pass when Border Patrol agents were denied access to the area by state officials acting under orders from Republican Texas Governor Greg Abbott. This is Abbott speaking to right-wing radio host Dana Loesch about how Texas is conducting border enforcement.

GOV. GREG ABBOTT: 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.

AMY GOODMAN: Can you respond to what happened? We’re talking about these 19 kids who died in Uvalde. This is a mom and her 8-year-old and 10-year-old who drown in the river, the Rio Grande river.

SEN. ROLAND GUTIERREZ: No, Amy, you’re absolutely right. And for this governor in Texas to understand, it would be murder, because it is murder. And what they’ve done in what happened last week is also a crime. It’s called failure to stop and render aid, at a minimum, and possibly negligent homicide, at a maximum.

But they are not the only ones. Day after day after day, people are drowning because of the obstacles that this man put in the river. Let’s be clear: He put a thousand yards of buoy in the river. The fact is, a thousand feet — sorry — of buoy was put in the shallow part of this area that this governor has set up as his little theater, as his — it’s the only — by the way, it’s the only city with this kind of razor wire, with these kinds of barriers. They put it in the shallow part of the river, making migrants go into the deeper parts, putting them into the deep water, where hundreds of them have drowned. What this man has done, the cruelty they’ve created is unbelievable. And it is a theatrical show that is disgusting and is leading to the deaths of people that are simply looking for a dream, simply looking for opportunity, because they’re hungry. Because they’re hungry.

We need comprehensive immigration reform. It’s the only solution. No obstacle, no barrier is going to fix this problem. We need comprehensive immigration reform, once and for all, in this country. And that is the job of a failed Congress who will not act.

AMY GOODMAN: I want to thank you for being with us. And I also do say that interview with Greg Abbott, done by Dana Loesch, the radio and TV host, she’s the former spokesperson for the NRA. Democratic Texas state Senator Roland Gutierrez, whose district includes Uvalde, recently announced he’s running against Republican Senator Ted Cruz for the U.S. Senate.

Next up, just out of prison for refusing his mandatory military service in Israel, we speak with the first Israeli conscientious objector since the Gaza assault began over three months ago. Stay with us.

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