Texas’ new immigration statutes are common sense, not racist


November 22, 2023

By Matt O’Brien

For the last two years, the state of Texas has been awash in illegal aliens. And because the Biden administration’s overriding immigration policy goal is complete erasure of the border with Mexico, the Lone Star State has been wholly unable to turn to the federal government for assistance. 

Accordingly, the Texas legislature recently passed legislation that would allow local law enforcement officers to arrest foreign nationals for having unlawfully entered the United States.

The ink was barely dry on the new laws when mainstream media outlets began crying, “Racism!” According to a headline featured by U.K. news outlet The Guardian, “Texas Legislators Pass Hardline Immigration Bill Denounced as Racist.” According to Spectrum News, the American Civil Liberties Union plans to sue, claiming that the new legislation “fuels racial profiling and harassment.”

Accusations of racism are nothing new in the immigration sphere. Anti-borders advocates want the public to believe that U.S. immigration policies favor European Caucasians and discriminate against so-called “Black and Brown folk.” But this is an inherently stupid claim and nothing could be further from the truth. 

To begin with, migrants aren’t a race. They come from every corner of the globe and from every racial, ethnic and religious background found on Earth. Migrants, taken as a group, might include Irish, Africans and Asians – none of whom share a common racial background. Therefore, unless one dislike’s the human race generally, it’s not possible to be racist against immigrants. 

Moreover, the vast majority of people immigrating to the United States over the last four decades have been neither Caucasian nor from a European background. Per Pew Research, Asians (28%), Mexicans (25%) and other Latin Americans (25%) each make up about a quarter of the U.S. immigrant population, followed by 9% who were born in another region. 

Those statistics hardly paint a picture of U.S. immigration policies designed to facilitate the perpetuation of a predominantly White, Western Europe-dominated America.

And while the immigration population headed for the U.S.-Mexico border is changing, it is hardly starting to mirror the demographics of Andy Griffith’s Mayberry R.F.D. In fact, the National Institute of Migration says that citizens from 103 countries have passed through Mexico on their way to the United States. 

That included four Swiss nationals, 39 Kyrgyzstanis, 345 Afghanis, 738 Chinese and one Singaporean, along with myriad Africans and the usual assortment of Latin Americans. Meanwhile, there’s been an astounding 500% increase in the number of Indian nationals attempting to enter the United States by sneaking in from Mexico. 

Texas’ issue with the migrants isn’t a racial one, it’s one of nationality. 

Given that voluminous data, why do claims that all immigration restrictions are racist persist? 

America has lost control of its borders. Those who benefit from unchecked mass migration want to distract attention from any kind of honest debate about its negative effects. They don’t want responsible, well-informed people discussing the connections between porous borders and things like increased crime, unemployment and housing shortages. 

So anti-borders advocates instead take the coward’s way out, resorting to deliberate attempts to inhibit consideration of the real questions at issue by claiming that any immigration policies they dislike are “racist.” After all, accusations of racism are the quickest way to end meaningful debate in American politics today.

Simply put, there’s nothing in Texas’ new laws that would indicate the state wants the Swiss but would prefer to keep out the Chinese and the Afghanis. Texas’ issue with the migrants isn’t a racial one, it’s one of nationality. 

Citizens of other nations have no right to enter America without the permission of the U.S. government. Congress has set strict limits on who may, or may not, be admitted to the United States. And the Biden administration has chosen to disregard those limits without ever having asked Congress to change the statutes that put those restrictions in place. 

Ultimately, Team Biden’s refusal to abide by the terms of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA, places American sovereignty, public safety and national security at risk. Texas’ concern isn’t with keeping out migrants of any particular race. It is with ensuring that any migrants who are let into the U.S. are admitted in accordance with the INA, after proper vetting and screening.  

Texas is merely attempting to employ the principles of constitutional federalism to assume important safety and security functions that the federal government has willfully abandoned. And it is doing so in order to protect all Texans, of any race, color or creed. In the end, there is absolutely nothing that is less racist than that.

Matt O’Brien is the director investigations at the Immigration Reform Law Institute and the co-host of IRLI’s podcast “No Border, No Country.” Immediately prior to working for IRLI he served as an immigration judge. He has nearly 30 years of experience in immigration law and policy, having held numerous positions within the Department of Homeland Security.

Also published at Fox News, November 22, 2023.

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