Texas governor unveils plans to create militarized border outpost

Plus, Tucker Carlson continues his praise of Putin following their controversial interview.

Top Headlines

This afternoon, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) announced that the state will begin construction of an 80-acre base camp at Eagle Pass, where a standoff between the Texas National Guard and federal border patrol continues to simmer. 

The facility can house some 1,800 soldiers, with an additional capacity of 2,300 depending on, in Abbott’s words, if there’s a “surge” in migration. The National Guard continues to be at odds with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection over the state’s deployment of anti-migrant barriers.

Abbott is currently deploying some 3,000 Texas military personnel across Texas’ border as a part of his anti-migrant program, a $10 billion enterprise known as Operation Lone Star. The operation involves marshaling National Guard manpower to assist state troopers in apprehending undocumented migrants who have crossed into the United States through the Texas border. 

“What this will do also a little bit more specifically, is going to consolidate our forces, again, as opposed to being scattered around many different places across this region. They will be operating out of one place. They will amass a large army and a very strategic area,” Abbott explained at a press conference near the proposed site. “They will increase the speed and flexibility of the Texas National Guard to be able to respond to crossings.”

Abbott also claimed during his press conference that the razor barrier strategy he enacted was working in deterring “illegal” migration. 

“We've seen the effectiveness of the razor wire in Shelby Park, where crossings have gone from 3,000, 4,000 to 5,000 people a day to less than 1% of that crossing illegally per day. And that's because of the effectiveness of the razor wire,” Abbott said. “Our goal is to make sure that we expand the effectiveness of that razor wire to more areas along this border.”

While the specific location that Abbott mentioned may have seen a decline in crossings, that doesn’t mean it’s discouraging or preventing migrant movement from the Southern border into the United States. It simply forces migrants to either find different methods of entering the country — such as employing smugglers or by taking a more dangerous, precarious land route.

Media Roundup

Following today’s announcement of the death of Alexei Navalny, a Russian opposition leader and one of President Vladimir Putin’s key rivals, comments by right-wing media maverick Tucker Carlson seem even more callous.

Earlier this week at a conference in Dubai, Carlson, who recently provided a softball interview with the Russian strongman and spoke favorably of life in the country, was quoted defending Putin’s jailing of political prisoners and his use of violence to silence critics.

Carlson’s comments were in the context of a sit-down with Egyptian journalist Emad El Din Adeeb, who questioned some of the former Fox News hosts’ methods. At one point, Adeeb asked about Navalny, who was at this point still alive in an Arctic penal colony but serving a 19-year sentence for what the Russian government charged was “political extremism.” 

“You didn’t talk about freedom of speech in Russia, you did not talk about Navalny, about assassinations, about restrictions on opposition in the coming elections,” Adeeb noted. “Why, yes? This is my question.” 

“Because those are covered and because I have spent my life talking to people who run countries in various countries and have concluded the following. That every leader kills people, including my leader,” Carlson retorted.  

“Every leader kills people, some kill more than others. Leadership requires killing people, sorry….”

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Jamie Larson