Bad Watchdog Season 2 launches June 20.

Newsletter

Weekly Spotlight: Escalating Tensions and Fatal Crises at the Border

Early last week, the Supreme Court issued an order granting the Biden Administration — namely, Border Patrol agents — permission to cut down the concertina wire barriers that Texas Governor Greg Abbott has been erecting along the Rio Grande River.

Weekly Spotlight logo

Delivered to our subscribers on Saturdays, the Weekly Spotlight is a roundup of POGO's latest work and announcements. Sign up to get this newsletter delivered to your inbox.


Early last week, the Supreme Court issued an order granting the Biden Administration — namely, Border Patrol agents — permission to cut down the concertina wire barriers that Texas Governor Greg Abbott has been erecting along the Rio Grande River. The decision came amidst a standoff between the federal government and Texas over border security, days after shocking reports that Texas law enforcement blocked Border Patrol agents from accessing a park alongside the Rio Grande to rescue a woman and two children who drowned while crossing the river.

Though the Supreme Court order affirms the federal government’s access to the border, it hasn’t de-escalated tensions with Texas — something it might have accomplished by explicitly stating that immigration authority belongs to the federal government alone. In fact, Abbott has doubled down after the ruling — pledging open defiance and abusing loopholes to continue erecting concertina wire and blocking federal agents from stretches of the U.S.-Mexico border. And he’s amassed support: 25 state governors signed a letter in solidarity with Abbott. Dozens of states have already sent resources and troops to Texas to support his efforts.

Crucially, the court order does nothing to address the myriad civil and asylum rights violations and excessive uses of force that are occurring at the border. Fatal vehicle pursuits, barbed buoys in the Rio Grande, trespassing arrests followed by prolonged detention with a complete disregard for due process are all part and parcel of a larger effort — Operation Lone Star, Abbott’s attempt to commandeer federal immigration enforcement power. It’s critical that the Department of Justice act immediately to investigate Operation Lone Star’s abuses to prevent further rights violations and loss of life.


ICYMI: ANALYSIS

The Federal Government Can’t Keep Ignoring Operation Lone Star

Congress and the Biden administration have looked the other way from the Texas governor’s abuses at the border for too long. It’s time for meaningful change.

Read More


ANALYSIS

The Bunker: What the Debate Over Ukraine Aid Highlights

This week in The Bunker: increasing leeriness about helping Ukraine highlights a widening fissure among the U.S. body politic; a pair of planes illustrates the contrasting phases of military procurement; defense contractors grumble that Pentagon negotiators are too stingy; and more.

Read More