Standoff between Texas and federal govt, Democrats and Republicans, forebodes US election

January 29, 2024 —

The razor wire is not only installed along the US-Mexico border, but it also symbolizes the divide between the US state of Texas and the federal government, as well as between the Republicans and Democrats. With the US entering the election year, the ongoing immigration dispute has become a key battleground in the upcoming elections.

Last week, the Supreme Court voted 5:4 in favor of allowing US Border Patrol agents to remove razor wire deployed by Texas GOP Governor Greg Abbott’s security initiatives at the US-Mexico border. This ruling was seen as a significant victory for President Joe Biden in his ongoing dispute with Abbott over border policy. Despite the ruling, Abbott has stated that the Texas National Guard will continue to install the razor wire. Republican governors in half of the US have backed Texas in this intensifying standoff. Former president Donald Trump also weighed in, encouraging states to send troops to the southern border.

The bizarre standoff is becoming a showdown between Texas and the federal government. It also signals that the deep-rooted contradictions and crises in US society have entered a new phase in US history. “When a man gets sick, it always breaks out from the weakest part of the body,” said Xu Liang, an associate professor at the School of International Relations, Beijing International Studies University, explaining that the immigration issue is the point where the contradictions in the US start to explode.

Actually, the Republicans are keen to see the explosion of the immigration issue, as they believe it can trigger the American public’s attention on this issue so that they can secure more votes. Diao Daming, a professor at the Renmin University of China in Beijing, told the Global Times that if it were not an election year this year, the Republicans wouldn’t have made such a big fuss out of it.

“Playing the immigration card is an election tactic of the Republicans. They want to make use of the drama-like tense situation in the Texas border to weaken the Democrats and Biden. They want to create the impression that the situation is on the verge of breaking out while the president is doing nothing about it,” said Diao.

Diao also pointed out that the Biden administration is facing a vicious circle. The more the Democrats and Biden are weakened, the more likely Trump will come back, and the more eager immigrants will be to flood into the US before the election, making the immigration issue more difficult to solve. The increasing number of immigrants flocking into the US may bring greater social security problem, and these burdens will be borne by the states governed by the Democratic Party. The local people will have greater pressure and carry out more resistance, which is also a thorny issue for the Biden administration.

The immigration issue will not only decide the fate of the Democratic Party and the Republican Party, but will also decide the fate of the US. That is why it has exacerbated into a showdown. Both within and outside the US, some have questioned if the US will slip into a “civil war.” On Social media X (formerly Twitter), a “civil war” sentiment is breeding. Some US internet celebrities, such as Terrence Williams, who has 1.7 million followers, accused Biden of trying to start a civil war. The Spectator, a British media outlet, ran an article entitled “America is seeing a tiny civil war in Texas” even before the current saga that we see in the US.

Chinese experts believe that if the situation cannot be managed well, small-scale bloodshed or shootings are possible, but the likelihood of a full-blown war or large-scale conflicts is not very high. However, Zhang Tengjun, deputy director of the Department for American Studies at the China Institute of International Studies, believes that political antagonism, social divisions and racial tensions in the US will intensify, resembling a “national divorce” between red and blue states, as Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene has called for. Consequently, the US will become a source of chaos in the future.

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