“Why are we having all these people from shithole countries come here?”
Donald J. Trump
Give me your well-rested, your nouveau riche. Your good white folks who are already living free. The well-heeled swells from your really nice beaches. Give me the hopeful really cool to me. I lift my lamp beside the golden shore.
Emma Lazarus weeps.
Texas Attorney General and Tea Party favorite Ken Paxton has failed in another frivolous lawsuit. Paxton sued the federal government seeking to prevent the resettlement of Syrian refugees in Texas. Yes, that’s what it has come down to for the Tea Party fanatics – let’s keep refugees out of our state because . . . well, just because.
Paxton’s suit claimed the Obama administration had not adequately consulted with states before placing refugees in Texas. Not surprisingly, U.S. District Judge David Godbey ruled that the state has no role in the resettlement of refugees handled by the federal government which has authority over immigration policy. And in a dope slap to Paxton, Godbey also found the state had failed to present plausible evidence that Syrian refugees pose an imminent risk. Paxton apparently forgot about something called the Supremacy Clause and another detail of the Constitution which vests authority over foreign affairs largely in the hands of the Executive. But the Constitution is only important when it supposedly supports Paxton’s Tea Party agenda.
For his part, Paxton said that he was “disappointed with the court’s determination that Texas cannot hold the federal government accountable to consult with us before resettling refugees here.” He said he is considering options to “guarantee the safety of Texans from domestic and foreign threats.” Yes, Ken will protect us from the predatory families that are being resettled in Texas. Good luck with that Ken.
“The scum of creation has been dumped on us. Some of our principal cities are more foreign than American. The most dangerous and corrupting hordes of the Old World have invaded us. The vice and crime which they have planted in our midst are sickening and terrifying. What brought these Goths and Visigoths to our shores? The manufacturers are mainly to blame. They wanted cheap labor: and they didn’t care a curse how much harm to our future might be the consequence of their heartless policy.”
Thomas E. Watson, 1910.
The tune changes, but the lyrics are basically the same. Red wonders how many of the grandchildren and great-grandchildren of the “scum of creation” are now Tea Party supporters of Donald Trump’s updated version of Watson’s errant nativism.
For more on the curious political career of Tom Watson see the New Georgia Encyclopedia.
Gov. Greg Abbott (TP-Texas) has authorized the Texas Dep’t of Health and Human Services to sue the US, Sec. of State John Kerry and others to prevent the resettlement of Syrian refugees into Texas. The suit seeks to immediately stop any such resettlement efforts and claims, as legally required, that Texas will suffer irreparable harm if a couple of Syrian families (who already have relatives in Texas) are placed in the Dallas area. The suit quotes the FBI Director and others who have expressed some concerns about the ability to vet the Syrian refugees who are applying for status in the U.S. The suit also quotes the Director National Intelligence as saying, “We don’t put it past the likes of ISIL to infiltrate operatives among these refugees.”
Whether those concerns create the prospect of irreparable harm (a required showing for the temporary relief sought) is perhaps questionable. What is not questionable is the complete and total authority of the federal government over immigration including matters relating to resettlement of refugees. There is no likelihood of success on the merits (another required showing to obtain temporary relief) here because Texas cannot and will never have any authority over immigration matters.
This lawsuit is a complete waste of time and taxpayer resources and clearly does nothing other than to burnish Abbott’s already glowing Tea Party credentials. The Dallas Morning News has the petition filed by the State for your reading pleasure.