“What’s good for the goose is good for the gander.” That’s what my mom used to say, though I doubt she understood the axiom. My mom is a Trump voter, so understanding hypocrisy is kind of out of her wheelhouse. But hypocrisy is just what her favorite phrase was about, and today, all of those ganders are in Austin, Texas.
When Donald Trump indicated his intention to make America outright hostile to immigrants and refugees, he made massive targets of sanctuary cities – places where those in fear of their home country or even ICE here in America could feel safe from deportation. Travis County, where one of Texas’ most liberal cities is, did just that.
And then Texas’ Republican legislature took that away. In a Facebook Live video Sunday evening, Governor Greg Abbott pulled a favorite trick of right-wingers: Find a heinous crime committed by one member of a certain group of people who “don’t belong,” then use it to paint the entire group of “others” as the same (we all know Texas would never ban white people based on the actions of John Wesley Hardin). No, he used a single case of an undocumented immigrant committing a crime to justify going against everything Texas has ever stood for, and he signed a law outlawing sanctuary cities. Greg Abbott is now the big government that conservatives always warned us about.
The bill not only outlaws sanctuary cities, but provides civil and criminal penalties for any jurisdiction not following the unconstitutional mandate of the Trump administration, even removing officials from elected office if they don’t comply.
As the Republic of Texas was entering into statehood, the government there insisted on being free of the shackles of federal overreach. Today, there is no federal land in Texas except that which was purchased by the U.S. government after it annexed the Republic. Texas gave up none of its land, and none of its rights. Any discussion you ever hear about states’ rights and the Tenth Amendment begins and ends in Texas.
Greg Abbott has forgotten the storied history of Texas. Or maybe he’s re-written it, like their textbooks.