One day after a judge stalled Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s order blocking ground transportation of illegal aliens, a horrific highway crash killed 10 migrants and injured 20 others packed into a van speeding away from the border.
In light of this latest carnage, Attorney General Merrick Garland and U.S. District Judge Kathleen Cardone should reconsider what they deem to be Abbott’s “dangerous and unlawful” policy. Though no one will ever know if the governor’s order could have prevented the tragedy in Brooks County, the illicit and reckless transport of illegal migrants on Texas roads is a clear and present danger to public safety.
Deadly crashes are on the rise as human smugglers, hired to race their human cargo to cities across the state, slam into businesses, homes, drainage ditches and other vehicles. “Bailouts” that send migrants fleeing into the Texas brush are an everyday occurrence.
As with most wrecks, the media coverage in rural Brooks County was light on context. Treating them as random, isolated incidents, reporters rarely bother to connect the dots to the intended destinations – typically stash houses where migrants are warehoused until they or their relatives back home come up with additional money to pay off the cartels.
Breaking this chain of custody, and halting the criminal endangerment of life and property, is the express purpose of Abbott’s order banning the non-governmental transport of illegal aliens.
Illegal trafficking also carries a public-health danger beyond the roadways. The high incidence of COVID among illegal aliens makes them potential super-spreaders of disease as they fan out across the state and nation.
COVID transmission was among the factors that triggered Abbott’s transit restrictions. Opponents of the policy as much as validated his concern by asserting that migrants held in detention facilities would increase the chances of infection there.
The federal government’s challenge to the Abbott order is scheduled for a full hearing in Judge Cardone’s El Paso courtroom on Friday, Aug. 13. At that time the George W. Bush appointee can rethink the Biden administration’s bizarre claim that Texas’s effort to protect public safety somehow “causes irreparable injury to the United States.”