Georgia’s Kemp Backs Texas in Border Dispute, Adding Weight to Abbott’s Immigration Stance 

As Georgia throws its weight behind Texas in the immigration clash, the political discourse intensifies, with the state becoming a pivotal player in the broader debate over border policies.
As Georgia throws its weight behind Texas in the immigration clash, the political discourse intensifies, with the state becoming a pivotal player in the broader debate over border policies. Credit | AP photos

United States: The Georgia governor, Brian Kemp, is scheduled to be Texas governor Greg Abbott’s main backer in his operation to stem illegal emigrants on the Southwest border. Gov. Abbott and President Biden are at loggerheads over immigration enforcement and border protection. 

Political Backing and Resolutions 

Kemp announced his decision on Tuesday at an afternoon press conference, and the Republican-controlled Legislature simultaneously put through resolutions condemning Biden’s border policy and endorsing any initiative by Kemp to lend resources and make arrangements for the protection of the southern border. 

The Georgia Senate passed by 31-15 today for its resolution, and the House committee voted for its bill Friday. 

Sharp political resolutions, along with the talking points pledged by the Republicans, termed those seeking asylum as criminals along with individuals who pass through the borders illegally, though some lacked persecution at home and many were drug traffickers or potential terrorists. However, the proposals are being effectuated during a most critical election period in the state, when not only the presidential but also the legislative seats 236 for all of Georgia are up for the vote. 

Potential Deployment of Georgia National Guard 

Visual Representation – Georgia National Guard. Credit | AP photos

Kemp might decide to release more Georgia National Guard troops based in Texas to the US-Mexico border. Kemp sent his troops there in 2019. A spokesperson for Kemp, Garrison Douglas, revealed that 29 Georgia Guardsmen are still overseas carrying out missions ranging from aerial surveillance. 

On February 4, Kemp joined Abbott at Eagle Pass and was one of the 13 Republican governors to join. There was a standoff between Abbott and the Biden administration after the state began denying access to U.S. Border Patrol agents at a park on the edge of the Rio Grande in a Texas border town. 

Republican-Democrat Divide and Trump Influence 

Having previously spat with former President Donald Trump, Kemp remains distancing himself from the front-runner Republican while supporting other Republicans and condemning Biden. However, in Monday’s discussion, a number of other Republicans from Georgia made it apparent that they desired a return to President Trump’s specific border policies. 

“We’re condemning President Biden that he took back and did a reversal in regard to what President Trump passed into law by executive order,” said Sen. Majority Leader Steve Gooch, a Dahlonega Republican. “What we’ve said is we want that executive order reinstated.” 

Trump and Republicans were attacked by Democrats during the debate for rejecting a border security plan developed in the U.S. Senate by negotiators which involved Republican U.S. Sen. James Lankford of Oklahoma. 

“This list of opportunities to secure the border thrown in the trash can by congressional Republicans is long,” said state Sen. Elena Parent, an Atlanta Democrat. “But none of this list compares to the most recent debacle we have witnessed.” 

In recent weeks, Georgia senators, particularly, debated a clutch of partisan measures aimed at pleasing Republicans and irritating Democrats. Republicans also made clear that the resolution was an election-year messaging exercise. 

“We’re not going to pass a bill today that is going to move the needle in a large way,” Gooch said. “What we are going to do today is take a position on this issue.” 

Georgia Joins States Supporting Abbott 

At least, Georgia is the third Republican-run state that has passed the Legislature to team up fully with those who called for sending more National Guard troops to lend their support to Abbott in recent days, after Oklahoma and Tennessee. 

As part of the former Florida governor Ron DeSantis’ plan announced last month, they will deploy an additional 800-strong member troops. So far, the state has sent over 1,000 members of the guard, state troopers, and other personnel to the Texas border since last May, as was confirmed by the Florida Division of Emergency Management. 

Georgia Republicans echoed this narrative of their party that the election of a new President would not require any congressional support and that the Democrats had enjoyed unified control of Congress for the first two years of Biden’s administration. Democrats, on the other hand, confirmed that they support some stricter controls at the border, but they said that Georgia lawmakers don’t have much influence, which shows how the issue has shifted. 

“This resolution is politics for politics’ sake,” said Senate Democratic Whip Harold Jones II of Augusta.