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Gov. Abbott Made Immigration #1 Issue

By Bill Donohue

Whether one agrees with Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s decision to bus illegal aliens to sanctuary cities around the country or not, it is indisputable that he is responsible for making immigration the Number One issue in the nation. His gambit was sociologically brilliant. He turned what was perceived by most Americans to be a regional issue into a national one.

What Abbott did was right out of the playbook of the Left’s favorite radical, Saul Alinsky. In his 1971 book, Rules for Radicals, Alinsky listed 13 tactics for activists. Abbott mastered two of them.

The fourth rule is “Make the enemy live up to their own book of rules. You can kill them with this, for they can no more obey their own rules than the Christian church can live up to Christianity.” By busing migrants to sanctuary cities—making the “compassionate” ones experience what it is like for Texans to put up with the illegals—Abbott called their bluff. Now they are up in arms.

The eighth rule is “Keep the pressure on, with different tactics and actions, and utilize all events of the period for your purpose.” Abbott has not only been relentless in shipping migrants to liberal cities, he has quickened the pace. He has also spread his goodwill around, from east to west, showing his penchant for diversity and inclusion.

We prepared a report on exactly how Abbott rolled out “Operation Lone Star.” It was in April 2022 that he began transporting the migrants. He has now bussed over 100,000 to sanctuary cities. There will be more. In December, illegal aliens came in record numbers—over 300,000 crashed our southern border.

We know that Abbott’s policy is working by examining the polling data.

We looked at surveys conducted by the Harvard CAPS-Harris Poll examining the top three most pressing issues facing the nation, beginning  with the start of “Operation Lone Star.” Here is what we found.

April 2022

  1. Price/Inflation: 33 percent
  2. Economy and Jobs: 28 percent
  3. Immigration: 22 percent

Approximately 200 migrants had been relocated by that time.

October 2022

  1. Price/Inflation: 37 percent
  2. Economy and Jobs: 29 percent
  3. Immigration: 23 percent

Over 12,700 migrants had been relocated by that time.

April 2023

  1. Price/Inflation: 34 percent
  2. Economy and Jobs: 25 percent
  3. Immigration: 24 percent

Over 19,040 migrants had been relocated by May 2023 (Texas did not provide data for April 2023).

October 2023

  1. Price/Inflation: 32 percent
  2. Immigration: 27 percent
  3. Economy and Jobs: 24 percent

Over 58,900 migrants had been relocated by that time.

January 2024

  1. Immigration: 35 percent
  2. Price/Inflation: 32 percent
  3. Economy and Jobs: 25 percent

Over 102,100 migrants had been relocated by that time.

The AP-NORC polls found similar outcomes.

2022

  1. Economy, general: 31 percent
  2. Inflation: 30 percent
  3. Immigration: 27 percent

2023

  1. Immigration: 35 percent
  2. Inflation: 30 percent
  3. Economy, general: 24 percent

The evidence is clear: There is a direct line between the expansion of Abbott’s busing and the nation’s intolerance for illegal aliens. Had he  not done so, this would still be regarded as a regional issue, and those who live along the border would be its only victims.

Some say it is cruel to bus migrants to cities around the country. We think it is cruel to make Texans pay for the policy prescriptions of those who never suffer the consequences of their own ideas.

Our one complaint with Abbott is that he didn’t exclusively choose to bus the illegals to the wealthiest and most liberal neighborhoods in the country. Only when those who live in places like Beverly Hills and East Hampton feel the pinch of their politics will matters change.

The Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights
450 Seventh Avenue
New York, NY 10123
Phone: 212-371-3191
Fax: 212-371-3394

Email: pr@catholicleague.org

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