JOHN DERBYSHIRE: Abbott Opposes ILLEGALS At Texas Border—But Recruits LEGAL Immigrants In India
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[Adapted from the latest Radio Derb, now available exclusively on]

Governor Greg Abbott of Texas has been in the headlines this week.

Even before those headlines, Abbott has become something of a hero to many (not all) immigration patriots this past three years. Under his Operation Lone Star, Texas state troopers have been arresting illegal border crossers, Texas National Guard troops have been setting up razor wire along the banks of the Rio Grande, state game wardens are patrolling the river in motor-boats, and busloads of illegals have been shipped to the smug sanctuary cities of the north.

That of course has all been vexing to the federal authorities in Washington, D.C., who want our southern border as open as possible but for the invaders to stay down South out of sight. (In a rather creepy echo of those Northern abolitionists who, following Emancipation, wanted the black slaves freed but… to stay down South out of sight.)

They particularly dislike the razor wire because illegals might hurt themselves getting over it.

Last year the federal Border Patrol actually cut through some of the wire to make passage easier for the invaders. In October Texas’ state Attorney General sued the feds for unlawfully destroying state property and interfering with the state’s efforts to block illegal border crossers.

The feds appealed; the appeals court prohibited the Regime from cutting the wire while the Supreme Court considered the case; Monday this week the Supremes ruled 5-4 for the feds. The Regime can now resume cutting the wire, although nothing in the case prevents Texas from just replacing it.

The four dissenters there were Justices Thomas, Alito, Gorsuch, and Kavanaugh. Roberts and Coney Barrett joined the court’s three hefty ladies for a majority— Wait, what did I just say? ”Hefty”? Sorry! Sorry! I meant of course Lefty ladies.

I confess I was looking forward to reading what Justice Sotomayor had to say. She can usually be depended on for something hilariously stupid in her written opinions. I did not know that when the Supremes act on emergency applications like this one, they don’t have to give reasons. Disappointed!

Governor Greg Abbott, after hearing the Supremes’ Monday decision, has adopted a fighting stance. Wednesday he issued what he described as a “Statement on Texas’ Constitutional Right to Self-Defense,” asserting his state’s right under the U.S. Constitution to protect itself.

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At week’s end he is still defiant, while Homeland Security is demanding access to the wired areas.

A possible escalation being aired is that Washington might put the Texas National Guard under federal control, as Eisenhower did with Arkansas in 1957 over school desegregation.

This could go off in all kinds of interesting directions.

So Governor Greg Abbott of Texas is a hero to us immigration patriots this week, right? Eh, not altogether.

The Governor hasn’t actually been in his state while these potentially momentous developments were under way. Where’s he been? In India.

Starting last Friday, the 19th, returning this Sunday, the 28th, Abbott has been on an Economic Development Mission to that country under the auspices of the Governor’s Economic Development & Tourism Office and the Texas Economic Development Corporation.

What’s wrong with that? Isn’t it part of a state governor’s job to encourage economic development, including joint ventures with foreign firms?

It certainly is. When doing so, however, the interests of American workers should be at the front of his mind.

Those interests were not at the front of Governor Abbott’s mind on Wednesday when he had a jolly meeting with representatives of NASSCOM, an Indian information-technology lobby that has been energetic in pushing for more American guest-worker visas for Indian tech workers.

With illegal border-jumpers dominating the immigration news, we are forgetting the serious issues we have with legal immigration.

And India is prominent in those issues. Our tech industry of course prefers cheap foreign labor to pricier Americans [Untold Stories: The American Workers Replaced by the H-1B Visa Program,, May 4, 2019]. India is to the fore in supplying that labor with big, rich, and relentless lobbies ever pushing for more of those guest-worker visas.

A standard midwit line on immigration is: ”I have nothing against legal immigration, of course; but illegal immigration? I’m against that. After all, it’s illegal, isn’t it?”

There is of course a point there: a point which, as a person who has been, at different times, both a legal and an illegal immigrant, I certainly applaud.

However, while legal immigration is indeed preferable to the illegal variety, the wanton abuses of our legal immigration system typified by those proliferating H-1B visas needs correcting.

Here’s a random quote from a report by long-time columnist Joe Guzzardi posted June last year at the Institute for Sound Public Policy:

The H-1B and other employment visas have, for decades, destroyed U.S. tech workers’ careers and created turmoil in their personal lives. Skilled, experienced long-time employees have been dismissed from Disney, Southern California Edison and dozens of other companies. Major tech employers Google, Microsoft, Dell and myriad others have been especially ruthless. After being fired, the displaced Americans are forced to suffer the indignity of training their replacements. Jobless and without their middle-class incomes, unemployed Americans struggle to make mortgage, car and tuition payments, and meet other obligations. The lucky H-1B workers receive lawful permanent residency and eventual citizenship—a raw deal for the unfortunate American job discrimination and bias victims.

Activist Organization Files Complaint with DOJ on Behalf of U.S. Tech Workers Displaced by H-1B Visa Holders, by Joe Guzzardi, June 8, 2023

India is by far the biggest player in these legal-immigration outrages. Governor Abbott should have stayed home this week and minded his border.

John Derbyshire [email him] writes an incredible amount on all sorts of subjects for all kinds of outlets. (This no longer includes National Review, whose editors had some kind of tantrum and fired him.) He is the author of We Are Doomed: Reclaiming Conservative Pessimism and several other books. He has had two books published by com: FROM THE DISSIDENT RIGHT (also available in Kindle) and FROM THE DISSIDENT RIGHT II: ESSAYS 2013.

For years he’s been podcasting at Radio Derb, now available at for no charge. His writings are archived at

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