Governor Says Texas Isn’t Shooting Migrants Because Biden Would ‘Charge Us With Murder’

“We are using every tool that can be used," Republican Gov. Greg Abbott said on a podcast.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) said his state continued to use “every tool” in its arsenal to stop migration along its border with Mexico but added that the only thing his officers weren’t doing was “shooting people who come across the border.”

“We are using every tool that can be used, from building a border wall, to building these border barriers to passing this law that I signed that led to another lawsuit by the Biden administration, where I signed a law making it illegal for somebody to enter Texas from another country,” Abbott said on a podcast with former National Rifle Association spokesperson Dana Loesch last week.

“The only thing that we’re not doing,” the governor added, “is we’re not shooting people who come across the border, because of course the Biden administration would charge us with murder.”

His comment drew swift fury from the Texas Democratic Party, which condemned the governor’s aggressive efforts to crack down on border crossings.

“The only thing stopping Greg Abbott from ordering law enforcement to shoot migrant women and children are murder charges,” Gilberto Hinojosa, the chair of the party, said in a statement. “Time and time again, Greg Abbott and Texas Republicans have made it abundantly clear they have no morality or humanity.”

“This bloodthirsty approach to governance is dangerous not only for migrants and Texans of color ― but for our entire state,” Hinojosa added.

Other Democrats pointed to the 2019 shooting at a Walmart store in El Paso that left 23 people dead and nearly two dozen injured. Prosecutors said the gunman in that attack was motivated by racial hatred and targeted Latinos. He was sentenced to 90 consecutive life sentences last year.

“It’s language like yours that left 23 people dead and 22 others injured in El Paso,” Rep. Veronica Escobar (D), whose district includes El Paso, wrote on social media.

The Houston Chronicle reported the interview with Abbott was aired again this week but did not include the line about shooting migrants.

Abbott has continued his aggressive policies toward migrants despite concern from human rights groups. The governor has continued to bus asylum seekers from the state to Democratic-majority cities, and his administration drew harsh condemnation after it had parts of the Rio Grande lined with razor wire.

The federal government has moved to remove those barriers and recently asked the U.S. Supreme Court to weigh in.

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