« The Weeds

Biden messed with Texas

2023-08-16

In early July, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott installed a chain of buoys and barbed wire in the Rio Grande as part of his “Operation Lone Star” plan to crack down on illegal border crossings. Then, a few days later, the Justice Department filed a lawsuit in response to the floating buoy border. The DOJ is using an obscure 1899 law called the Rivers and Harbors Act as the legal basis for this suit, claiming the border obstructs navigable waterways. Will that be enough for the DOJ to force Abbott to remove the buoys? Weeds host Jonquilyn Hill asks Texas A&M law professor Gabriel Eckstein and Texas Tribune reporter Uriel García to find out. 

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Biden is taking Texas to court over its floating border barrier

Eagle Pass residents sour on Texas Gov. Greg Abbott's Operation Lone Star 

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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
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State Fair is a lot of fun. - Millions of people will soon be visiting the State Fair of Texas, and a lot of them will be looking for the latest deep fried food. There's cornbread, sausage bombs, deep fried. In sushi bombs, deep fry-- - I had no clue you could even fry that many things. But still, it's not enough to get me to move there. Sorry, guys. Because I have so many friends in Texas, my ears do perk up when I hear any policy news out of the state. Like last year, when Texas... Governor Greg Abbott and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis sent migrants to blue cities. Here in Los Angeles a bus of migrants from Texas has arrived at a church here in LA. -Governor Ron DeSantis is under fire for using taxpayer dollars to organize flights of asylum seekers to Martha's Vineyard. -Texas Governor put more than --
Dozen asylum-seeking immigrants who had crossed the Texas border on a bus and sent them 1,700 miles north to New York City. Governor Abbott has sent 500 buses of migrants to blue cities. It's all part of Operation Lone Star. The name he's given to his efforts to fight illegal immigration in Texas. And now Abbott is back in the news for a different tactic of Operation Lone Star. Has placed buoys and barbed wire along a border crossing site in Eagle Pass. And the Department of Justice is suing in retaliation based on an 1899 law called the Rivers and Harbors Act. To find out why water law and not immigration law is at the center of this legal battle, I called up a Texan. My name is Gabriel Eckstein and I'm the Director of the Energy Environment. And Natural Resource Systems Law program at Texas A&M University, where I'm also a professor of law.
Imagine when these buoys and razor wire were put in place at the end of... Late July, your ears perked up. I mean, do you remember your reaction? What were you talking about when this happened? I will admit that I've always been a bit skeptical on the approach that the Texas government has taken toward immigration. Issues, border issues, water issues on the border. And so I wasn't necessarily surprised that Texas took this action, but it also was just a whole huge step beyond what they've ever done before. Could you describe the barrier to me because I You know, when you look at pictures, you just sort of see these orange things floating in the water, and they don't look as, I guess, for like...
Of a better word ominous. - Threatening? - Yeah, like they're scary up close. - If you see them on land, it's not that scary until you actually come close and. Some of the rotary chainsaw that's between each of these buoys. Now that gets a little scary, but when they're on land, they're about four or five feet tall, big, giant orange balls that are just strung together, connected to each other. And it's just like a Lego set. You just hook them up More to each other. When they're in the middle of a river, you have to think about the perspective of you being in the river. Now, all of a sudden, you're not standing next to this four foot high, five foot high, six foot high buoy. You're looking up at a four, five, six,
foot-high orange ball. Now you would think, Okay, well maybe in between the two balls. Well, like I said, they actually have this round metal piece with jagged teeth on it, which looks like a rotary saw. And it's right in between where the two buoys connect to each other so that you cannot actually put your hand on them. Or try to climb in between. Now below the water level, they're anchored into the ground. So there's actually infrastructure underneath that you can't see into the riverbed and in between, but they actually have netting so that you cannot swim underneath them to get to the other side. So it's a pretty elaborate system. - And it's pretty long. Is it, I think I was reading it's about the size of a football field? - Three. - Three football fields. Wow. - It's about a thousand feet long.
And they put it in a particular section where in the last year or two, for various reasons, where you've seen a higher number of migrants crossing. It's a bit shallower in that area. It's just south of Eagle Pass. And it's a place where you've seen more migrants coming more recently. The carrier was installed in early July, and the Justice Department files the lawsuit shortly thereafter. Can you tell us a little bit about what the lawsuit contains? What is the government arguing? They only addressed one statute, one federal statute. It's called the Rivers and Harbors Act from 1899. It's been around for quite a long time. And what that statute does is prohibits placing anything placing anything... In a navigable water body without permission.
A couple different provisions in there talking about structures and weirs and anything that might be put inside the river or cause the river to change its course or change the flow or change the conditions of the river. And there's another provision that kind of builds on that, which is actually the first environmental provision that the United States has. Has ever had at the federal level, and it says you can't dump anything into the river. Now originally, this... Rivers and Harbors Act, the whole purpose was navigation. So even the dumping of whether it's debris, wood, dirt, trash, was to keep the navigable water body navigable. And that's what they sued on. -Could you explain to our audience kind of in basic terms?
what the government exactly is arguing in this lawsuit? The statute itself is pretty simple. It says you can't put anything into a navigable water body without permission. And it's either permission of Congress, direct congressional. Permission that you know, the Congress can create a new act saying, oh, we're going to build a dam on the river. Well, that's permission. Or from the Army Corps of Engineers, because Congress delegated the authority to manage these navigable waterways to the Army Corps of Engineers. One other point, navigable water bodies. Rivers and lakes on which you can navigate. And under the constitution, going back to a case-- is from, I think it's 1824. Because of what's called the Commerce Clause, anything that relates to navigation is considered part of the commercial transition.
Actions or relates to interstate commerce and therefore is under federal congressional authority, not the state. So that is what gave Congress the right to enact. The Rivers and Harbors Act, and under the Act, got to get permission. Texas did not inform Congress or the Army Corps. Not seek permission. And they went ahead intentionally and placed this infrastructure, these buoys that are attached to the riverbed. They also put concertina wire on the banks, which is also essentially infrastructure. And both of these actions, arguably, are in violation of the act. So, Governor Abbott's buoy barrier was allegedly installed unlawfully. Can you kind of walk us through that process of, you know, what if, what if this had been...
And all kind of done on the up and up, if it'd been installed legitimately, what would that look like? - So it's really interesting that. Dallas Morning News did this story that various offices in Texas actually contacted the various federal offices and asked them about this and they were told no this would be illegal. So in fact this is not to something was that was done on the sly in the sense without They actually asked about this and tried to get information and they did it in spite of the being told that this would be in violation. Now, had they done it in accordance with the law, they would have gone to the Army Corps of Engineers and said, We want to build this string of buoys. We're going to put them at this location. This far off land. We're going to connect them to the riverbed using this material. Netting, and so on. And the Army Corps would then have done studies, research into what would...
A series of buoys a thousand feet long in the middle of the river, would it affect the river's flow? Would it affect the volume of the water, the direction the water is flowing, the speed at which it's flowing? Would it interfere with any kind of navigation? Whether it's kayaks or anything, any other bigger types of shipping that might occur in that water body. And then the Army Corps would issue its decision. You could say no, Absolutely not. Or yes with these conditions. And if there's yes with the conditions or yes with no conditions, it would issue a permit. - That does not sound like a very fast process, I will say. - No, no. We're talking about the federal government. So it's not usually a fast process. Process.
About navigation. Why are we not talking about the elephant in the room? - I actually thought this was a smart move by the federal government, because it avoids the elephant in the room. Because the issue of immigration is a difficult issue. We don't have clear answers in terms of How do we stop the immigration, or how do we deal with migrants, or how do we address the safety issues of migrants? How do we address the concerns that citizens in the U.S. have with regard to these migrants? These are all sorts of issues that we do have to deal with, but the federal government didn't want the court to deal with it. Because this is a—I would argue this is a political issue, not a legal issue.
Issue, and we need to resolve it in the context of legislation, in context of politics, and not have a judge decide wrong or right or who's violating what law. Now, I will say that the Abbott administration is trying to make this an immigration issue, is trying to make this a border security issue. And by not including those points in the lawsuit, the DOJ is trying to circumvent and not have to deal with those points. I think that's really interesting because 'Cause like you said, Abbott very much wants to make this about... Immigration and despite the fact that the lawsuit doesn't really touch on that at all, he's Very adamant about the increased security at the border and that measures like the Bowie border are protected under the constitution. He's called the migrants an invasion of illegal immigrants.
Are his words and saying that there's a need to take emergency wartime effort. - Does he have a case at all with that argument? - On the one side, you have the argument that border. Security and immigration are exclusively in the domain of the federal government. And even if they... Don't necessarily fulfill their obligations, the states are not allowed to step into that space because it is a federal obligation. And if the federal government is not. Being responsible and fulfilling their obligation, there are mechanisms and avenues that the states can take to try to encourage or even force the government. They could sue the federal government to enforce the Border security regulations and immigration regulations and so on. That would be in my mind the proper approach.
Now, there is another argument that says that in the case that the federal government is not fulfilling their obligations on border security and immigration, there's another clause in the constitution that provides something to the effect that the states, I don't remember the exact wording of it, but the states, if they are actually invaded, and this is Abbot has used the word invasion. If they are actually invaded, then they are allowed to protect their borders. Now you have a problem of two provisions in the... Institution that seemed like they might be in conflict. And I'm not sure that there's a conflict there, but that's what Governor Abbott is trying to make it out to be.
That there's these two provisions. Federal governments supposed to take these obligations. They're not. And so we're going to rely on this other provision here that says that we are allowed to take security precautions and border protection if we're invaded. And that's why he's couching this migration, these immigrants as an invasion, invading force. What are the next steps in this lawsuit? Could we see this go all the way to the Supreme Court? We could. It's a federal issue. The next step is, if I remember correctly... There's a hearing on August 22nd in which the federal government has asked the court to force the governor, force the state of Texas to stop any kind of additional construction. And implementation of the BUI system and actually to remove it. If the court agrees with the DOJ, the governor and the Texas will have to
10 days to remove them. So it'll be early September, the earliest that you would see them removed. But that's only if the court agrees that they need to be removed pending the decision. And that's just, that's not on the merits of the case. That's just sort of temporary action while the case proceeds. After that, the case is going to proceed in a typical fashion where you have discovery, pretrial motions, you have the actual trial, then you have a decision by the court. That could take months. Clearly, that could take months. And then of course you have the appeals process. Is there anything else that you think it's important for our listeners to know about this case? You know, as the news comes out, as there... Keeping an eye on it as they're reading. - There's actually two other potential liability areas that have not been raised by any court yet.
One is domestic and one is international. The domestic one relates to endangered and threatened species. It's not clear whether Texas should have spoken to the Fish and Wildlife Service to see. If there are threatened or endangered species in that area where they've installed the buoy. System and whether they have to get permission from the Fish and Wildlife Service if there are these endangered threatened species. So that's another cause of action that it's unclear whether it would apply or not, but nobody's fully raised it as of yet. The other one, which Mexico actually... Has raised in its diplomatic notes. Under a treaty that US has with Mexico, a 1970 treaty, the US and Mexico agreed to stabilize the flow over
the river or the Rio Grande and to mitigate any kind of flooding by preventing obstructions or deflectors, anything that might deflect the flow of the river. Arguably, putting this buoy system in the middle of the river is an obstruction and could cause deflection of the flow. So if we had a flood situation, a big rain and lots of water, how would that buoy system affect that excess water? We don't know because we didn't know we had to know about this until the buoys appeared a month ago. Mexico was never notified. The International Boundary of Water Commission, which sits at The border and is supposed to be managing these treaties and these water flows. They were never informed that this is actually being done. And so this could be another violation, except that this is Texas causing these
United States to be in violation of a treaty it has with Mexico. Yeah, that, I mean, it's this big like, Ooh, the White House versus Texas, like, Battle. But there are three players here. It's Mexico, Texas, and the United States. Yeah, yeah. There's definitely three players. Texas does have a certain degree of... Claim to the waters of the Rio Grande because the waters flow along the border of Texas and they have Writes the water under Texas law. The problem is that the United States also has rights to the Rio Grande that effectively under-- form of government, this federal system we have, it supersedes Texas's authority.
And then you have the US-Mexico relationship. There's a Texas-Mexico relationship, but not without the US-Mexico relationship. The Texas-Mexico relationship exists only because the US authorizes Texas to have that relationship. It's really between the US and Mexico. The US and Mexico. And now the US is in violation of a treaty it has with Mexico because of the action that Texas has taken. All right, Gabriel Eckstein. Thank you so much for joining me on The Weeds. - My pleasure, thank you. Now that we understand the lawsuit from the DOJ, let's get into the issue that underpins everything that's happening at the border. Immigration. That's coming up after a quick break.
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And reclaim our rights and protect and expand access to abortion care. Visit plannedparenthood.org/future to learn more and support their cause. Support for The Weeds comes from From Burrow. Okay, are you ready for the understatement of the century? Buying furniture can be frustrating. You end up visiting a bunch of. Or searching aimlessly for the right pieces to match your home, then spend hours trying to get those pieces together or-- And there again if you got it wrong the first time. And that's even if you were able to get it through the door. Burrow is a furniture company that wants to make the whole thing easier. Dune Lion features a contemporary yet timeless look inspired by the craftsmanship of classic mid-century construction. If you're looking to bring a sense of luxury, comfort, and beauty to the world, this is the perfect time to get yourself a new look at the world. Durability to your outdoor spaces, you might want to consider Burrow. Like all of Burrow's pieces, they offer easy assembly and disassembly.
So you can move or store them away as needed. Not only that, they ship straight to your door for free. Listeners of the weeds can get 15% off their first order at burrow.com/weeds. That's burrow, B-U-R-R-O-W, .com/weeds for 15% off. burrow.com/weeds. .com/weeds. - My name is Uriel Garcia, and I'm an immigration reporter with the Texas Tribune. I tend to cover how immigration policy, both at the federal and state level, affect immigrants and people who live along the border. - I mean, speaking of the border, you've been to that Bowie border in Eagle Pass. Can you describe what it's like? What do you see when you're an Eagle pass? Uh, it's kind of hard to find.
To be on a farmer's property. Her name is Magali Urbina. She owns the Pecan farm with her husband. And when you get to the end, to the south end of her property, what you see is a chain link fence. Riverbank and then a lot of wire on just on the edge of the riverbank and then obviously you see the And in the middle of the Rio Grande, you'll see the buoys. - What is the town itself of Eagle Pass like? Because you know, we've seen these buoys in the news, but this this is a place where people live, right? It's a pretty small town. I want to Say 30,000 residents. It's a bilingual town. It's very common to hear Spanglish. And they also have this park that's...
Along the riverbank and before all this, before the wire, the National Guard and troopers were there, a lot of people would go to that park to swim, kayak, fish along the river. The river was a recreational area and like I said, it's a small town so a lot of people would do outdoor things when it's not too hot. And it's very common for people to go back and forth between Eagle Pass and Piedras Negras, like a lot of border towns. People have families and jobs and schooling on both sides of the border. So the bridge is always busy. Talking about the park, we used verbs that are in the past tense. Are people not utilizing that outdoor space anymore? You know, it was interesting when I went there because there's some tension. There's just a lot of National Guard, a lot of troopers.
And a lot of wiring and the ramp that people use to kayak and get their boats on there At least when I was there, there wasn't any access to the river from the park anymore. I don't know that anyone is using it without, at the very least, having to ask permission from a National Guard or a trooper. And I can't imagine you can just go up. To any of them on the ground and say, Hey, I want to go for a swim. I think there's a process to be able to do that.
These measures at the border are part of Governor Abbott's Operation Lone Star. Can you tell us about this initiative and the actions that have already taken place? It has one basic mission, and that's to prevent people from coming into Texas illegally. The tactics that the state has used include sending National Guard along the Texas-Mexico border, along with troopers and And other states such as Florida have sent their own National Guard to help Texas. What they've been doing is they've been arresting some migrants who have been crossing onto certain areas of the border and charging them with trespassing. Like I said, it also has included other things such as migrants who have been processed and released the state take some of these migrants to what the state describes as sanctuary cities or liberal cities like New York.
Chicago, with the point being that border towns are overwhelmed. So for those so-called sanctuary cities, Texas or Abbott wants to send a message to them saying this is what it feels like having so many immigrants all at once. I guess the way I think of this, there are kind of three entities involved. And that's, you know, the state of Texas, Mexico, and then the federal government. What actions have happened at the federal level? What's their role in Operation Lone Star? Is Border Patrol working with Texas? What's going on? The federal government has no role in operation on Star. And that's what was in the... - Interesting to see out in Eagle Pass, National Guard and DPS troopers have overtaken private property and federal.
Land. And so what they're doing is immigrants are on the entiedras negras and they're sort of scouting to see where they can cross. And once they cross or walk over through the river, obviously They're faced by a lot of wires, so they have to walk along the edge of the river. To an area where there's an opening and then that opening National Guard takes them in and them over to DPS troopers. Originally, they were just arresting single men, a man who Who were coming without their families and charging them with trespassing. And two recent policy changes are that they're also arresting single women.
Now. The third one is that I don't know how common this is, but it was most recently reported and confirmed by DPS that they've been separating some men from their families and arresting them. Anyone who doesn't fit this sort of profile gets turned over to Border patrol by DPS. But going back to your question, the only role right now that we see the federal government had been Operation Lone Star is that the Department of Justice recently sued Texas, basically demanding to get rid of of the buoys and all the wire along the riverbank. So it's a legal fight at this point between the state and the federal government. Does it seem all right? Almost competition doesn't seem like the right words, but people between the federal government and the state trying to get to migrants first. Right, yes. What was interesting to see is that DPS...
Sort of dictating they want to get to the migrants first, they want to be able to say we've arrested so many, and the state basically wants to be able to say we're securing the border. But that's simply not the case. The measure of securing the border is up for interpretation. But if securing the border means no one crossing the river, then the mission is failing. At the same time, the border is failing. The Biden administration has tried to create some legal pathways for people who want to seek asylum.
To use those pathways to be able to basically enter the country in a more orderly fashion. But at the same time, the Biden administration has implementing stricter policies to be able to deter migrants from wanting to cross the river or cross the desert, depending on what part of the border you're in. So it wants to have it both ways, and it doesn't seem to be working because more and more people seem to be coming. So it remains to be seen what policy is going to change, but in reality... Phenomenon of mass migration, if you will, is just bigger than the U.S. It's a worldwide issue. So, whatever policies either the state or the country wants to make, it's a worldwide issue. To implement that don't seem to be working right now and they need to be thinking bigger than just how do we deter people from wanting to come.
Can you clarify what happens when border patrol agents work with migrants versus, you know, the state of Texas? What do those two different paths look like? It's kind of a choose your own adventure, but let's put it in, I guess, in the most common way. And that is if someone crosses the river or someone crosses the river, The border illegally. They'll get arrested by border patrol, depending on the demographics, if they're coming with family, if they're coming with children. They won't necessarily be prosecuted for entering the country illegally. In some cases they do, but let's say they don't. They get arrested, they get processed, they get background checked. They're held in custody until Border Patrol decides, Okay, well, we can't process them right now for deportation, so we're going to let them go with the intention that they're going to show up in court or show up to an immigration office.
To kickstart the immigration legal process. And that could mean this immigrant may ask for asylum, which it's on average a five-year process, or they could be ordered deported. And in that case, Immigration and Customs Enforcement gets involved. They'll arrest them, they'll get charged with entering the country legally, and they could face criminal proceedings and potentially prison time. And if not, they'll just try to get them to agree get deported back to their home countries. But keep in mind... That most recently we're talking about Venezuelans coming in. And right now there's no diplomatic relations between the US and Venezuela, which makes it hard to deport Venezuelans back to their home country because the US doesn't have access to...
Venezuelan land right now. And so what ends up happening is that, okay, well, we just have to keep, you know, I hate to say like this, like their property, they're not, but you know, from the perspective of immigration, they just have to keep Venezuelans in the country and let them seek some sort of alternative to stay in the U.S. After one more quick break, we'll discuss where immigrants... Policy stands now and how the expiration of Title 42, which was in place since the early days of the pandemic, has affected the number of migrants attempting to cross the border. Support for the weeds comes from Hydro. Finding the time to exercise can be hard. But with the HydroRower, finding time for a 20-minute full body workout can be a piece of cake.
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Invasion of migrants at the border, but those numbers of asylum seekers appear to be trending downward. What is the truth here? Can you break those numbers down for us? - I'll say right off the bat, there's no invasion. An invasion is described as some sort of government using violence to be able to overthrow another government. That's not happening. There's no government, either Mexico or Venezuela, trying to do that. As far as the numbers, keep in mind that there was a... Record-breaking number of apprehensions of migrants at the southern border under the Biden administration. And to introduce another element to the issue is that after Title 42, the Those numbers started going down and they've been the lowest, at least for the first few months after Title 42 under the Biden administration.
And the numbers in July started to go up again. Yeah, and in May we saw the end of Title 42. Can you-- Explain how that worked when people showed up at the border? So what Title 42 was, or is a public emergency health order and under the Trump administration, and what it did was that any person showing up to the border, either through the bridge or crossing the border illegally, and then they get turned over to, or turn themselves over to immigration officials. And if they were seeking asylum or any sort of immigration benefit at the border.
Border patrol agents or any other immigration agents had to turn away that migrant regardless of what they were asking for. And so they were just being returned to Mexican border towns. And there was no legal ramification with that. If you would just turn yourself in, border patrol would say, No, we're taking you back. And that was the end of that. And that person, if they're desperate enough or if they're in perilous situations, they would try again repeatedly. Until they were able to come in. But that's essentially how it worked is migrants would come to the border, immigration agents would say, I can't do anything for you. I'm dropping you off in Mexico. And it was just a cycle. - It's very difficult. - Once that was.
Said it, what's happened since then? How does the asylum process work now? So ever since then, the country has gone back to using the decades long immigration laws that were on the book. Basically, what happens now is you cross the border illegally, you get arrested, you could get prosecuted for entering the country illegally. If it's more than your first time, it's a felony at that point, and you can face prison time, and eventually deported. In some other cases, once you're in those proceedings, you can ask for asylum. And during that process, like I said, it kicks off on average a five-year-long process.
That you have to be able to prove that you didn't have protections from your government or you were being persecuted for certain things such as your religion, your political views, or some other social points of views that you had in your home country. If you failed, you basically get deported. So in a lot of cases, basically what ends up happening is you get deported, or you get asylum, or you face prison time. And getting deported, that's a legal term. And basically that's something that immigration agents will look down the road if you apply for residency, citizenship, or even asylum down the road. So the stakes are higher. It pays prison time.
Deported and the consequences are much harsher now. So it seems like the narrative about federal immigration policy is kind of getting lost here. And also the need for reform is getting lost in this mess, too. Are there any aspects of federal policy that are working in Texas right now? Well, there are some federal policies that To be working, not just in Texas, but just in general. And one of those is the Biden administration has created sort of, or not created, in some cases created and in some cases expanded reunification family programs. Applies to certain nationalities. That if you're already in the US and you have a legal right to be in the US, whatever that may be, if you're in the asylum process or have a green card, you have.
Have a right to petition for your family back home to be able to come to the US. And what that creates is basically they'll do the immigration process for the person in their home. Country. And once they qualify, they're able to fly into the U.S., which cuts off any sort of treacherous track for some of these migrants. So that's a policy that advocates and experts have said, you know, these are the kinds of things that the Biden administration needs to expand on. It cuts off the smuggler. It cuts off any sort of dangerous route that the migrant has to take. It puts less pressure on immigration agents along the actual border. So that's a policy that seems to be working. I think one of the things that's interesting to me is it's no secret.
Secret that immigration policy is a weak point for the Biden administration. And that's the case wherever you sit on it. Like immigration advocates have their critiques. People who are hawkish on immigration have their critiques. You know, at the end of the day, Governor Abbott is a politician. I'm wondering how you're thinking of how the politics are shaping this, like, you know, last year when we saw the buses from Texas and Florida. It was very obviously a hit at the White House on top of. And I'm just wondering how you see politics shaping this, both nationally, but also state politics. - I'll be frank, I'm not a political reporter and the way I see these sort of things comes from sort of a more grounded point of view. I'm not gonna be able to--
tell you who has the advantage here. I can tell you who's losing out here, and that's both us Americans and the migrants themselves. You know, we have a labor shortage. There's thousands of migrants looking for work. One aspect that I didn't mention is that... Even if they do have a legal right to be in the U.S. after crossing the border, is that they don't... Immediately get a work permit. That takes months, if not years, to get the work permit. So a lot of them are just waiting to get their work permit to work. You know, this takes a lot of mental and emotional anguish on them. The country needs labor, and there's migrants wanting to work, but we're not letting them. As far as the politics, it just seems like two different worlds. We have the reality of what's going on on the ground, and we have the political world in which
Abbott and Biden are fighting over this. To what end, it doesn't seem clear right now because Abbott hasn't announced that he's running for higher office. The Biden administration has implemented stricter penalties, in some cases, or stricter policies, I should say. It just seems to be a lot of infighting. Meanwhile, people who depend on the migrants and the migrants wanting to come in seem to be losing out on all of this. - If you could offer the Texas government any advice when it comes to this, say? I mean, because you're on the ground. You're doing this reporting. You're seeing so much firsthand. Yeah, I mean, some of it Things that I saw on the Rio Grande or even from Piedras Negras, I saw many and women in crutches walking along the river. I met a man...
Who I believe, if I recall correctly, 34-year-old man from Venezuela was walking in crutches. He had a scar around his head, a scar around his waist. About a year ago, he was hit by a motorcyclist as he was walking down the street. He needed 84 screws on his face to hold his face together. And he's at... -or surgeries. -NANCY Oh, my gosh. VICTOR And Venezuela, you know, we can do a whole episode on the disarray that's going on in Venezuela. But to the point here is that there's no good healthcare right now in Venezuela, and he needs medical attention. He's coming to the U.S. for that medical attention. And to see him walk along the river while National Guard is just looking and...
Doing anything to help was just jarring to see. I think objectively speaking, anyone who would see this, seeing a man struggle to walk along the river, would offer some sort of help or ask him, Are you okay at the very least? I did not see that. And it was a hard reality to see because I think in the U.S., we sort of idolize service members in any sort of law enforcement capacity. And we see them as heroes in some cases. And in this case, that was not the reality. National Guard was there just staring at this man's struggle, making him walk a few miles down the river until he got to an opening rather than just cut the. And let him in. The only advice I would just say is that, you know, if you have any sort of humanity and you see this, the politics go away, they wash away. You want to be able to--
To help and that's something that Magalio Arena, the woman that I mentioned earlier who owns the pecan farm, she's a Republican and she bought it for Abbott. And you know, when she saw the reality of what these policies are doing to migrants, I recall she told me she was going to be a victim of the violence. That she's not a Democrat or Republican, she's a humanitarian now. And what she's doing now is helping people. - Uriel Garcia, thank you so much for joining us on The Weeds. - Thank you guys for inviting me. That's all for us today. Thank you to Gabriel Excell-- and Yudiel Garcia for joining me. This episode was produced by Kaitlin Boguqui. Additional Be well on Christian. Ayala engineered this episode. Serena Solon and Kim Eggleston fact checked it. Our editorial director.
Is AM Hall, and I'm your host, John Glenn Hill. The Weeds is part of the Vox Media Podcast Network. To do is less time and an infinite number of tools to keep track of. Sometimes doing business has never felt harder, but you don't need a miracle to hit your goals. You can just use HubSpot. Because their all-in-one customer platform can make growing your business infinitely easier. Imagine this, high quality leads, fast closing deals, wildly happy customers, and more benchmark breaking quarters. It's not a miracle, it's HubSpot. Visit HubSpot.com to get started today.
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Transcript generated on 2024-05-19.