Recent days have witnessed a frantic race among Democrats to deflect blame for the escalating border disaster to everything from Trump-era immigration policy to climate change, but the latest salvo in ongoing debate on the subject is indicative of their true desperation to change the subject. They’re essentially conceding that the crisis is real – and then pivoting to tired claims of racism.
During a Monday appearance on MSNBC, Rep. Veronica Escobar (D-TX) declared that Gov. Greg Abbott (R)’s expressions of concern that the unchecked influx of migrants is bringing new cases of COVID-19 into the country represent an “old, racist trope” likely to prompt violence, in what is clear evidence of the left’s abandonment of rational discourse on the topic.
As Breitbart reported, Escobar told viewers of The ReidOut that Abbott’s words of caution about the coronavirus are “really dangerous” and argued that his notion of “immigrants bringing disease” is the same sort of “xenophobic, anti-immigrant rhetoric” responsible for the 2019 mass shooting in El Paso.
However, Abbott has not been the only official to sound the alarm about COVID-19 and its presence among the migrant arrivals, with Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton raising the issue earlier this month along with Brownsville, Texas spokesperson Felipe Romero, who revealed that 185 individuals who had been released at his city’s bus terminal ultimately tested positive for the coronavirus, as Fox News reported.
Escobar’s attempt to distract from legitimate public health and safety concerns elicited by the migrant crisis by painting them as dangerous products of racism and xenophobia is especially egregious in light of the rapidly deteriorating conditions in which those who have made their way to the border are currently being held.
Even some fellow Democrats are – perhaps reluctantly – blowing the whistle on the inhumane environment on the ground at federal migrant detention facilities, with Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-TX) releasing on Monday a series of photos depicting harrowing scenes of overcrowded, unclean accommodations at a detention center in Donna, Texas, in which social distancing appeared impossible.
Cuellar himself remarked that the scenario would be “terrible under a regular circumstances, but when you add a pandemic on top of that, those pictures can be disturbing,” lending credence to Abbott’s worries about the spread of COVID-19, despite Escobar’s cynical bid to dismiss them as reckless racism.
During the early months of the coronavirus pandemic in 2020 – when Donald Trump was still in office – left-leaning think tank The Brookings Institution reported in detail on the massive risk of COVID-19 transmission not just from migrant detainees but also from the facility staff who come and go between the centers and surrounding communities. As the influx of arrivals is allowed to continue unabated, the volume of such exposures will inevitably increase.
Not surprisingly, the same concerns raised during the prior administration that overcrowding and substandard conditions represented profound danger of viral transmission are now labeled as the racist rantings of xenophobic Republicans, in a sure sign that Democrats are incapable – or simply unwilling – to engage in honest, substantive analysis of the unfolding border catastrophe.