Wednesday | September 22nd, 2021

It’s Wednesday, September 22nd, and this is your Morning Wire. Listen to the full podcast:

1) The Border Crisis Continues

The Topline: The small town of Del Rio, Texas, has been in the headlines after 14,000 migrants — mostly Haitians — flooded the city, setting up a makeshift camp under a bridge. The Morning Wire discussed the situation with Texas Governor Greg Abbott (R) and Congressman Tony Gonzales (R), who represents Del Rio. 

Quote Of The Day:

What is happening is just pure chaos. I mean, you have a small sleepy town that is just essentially…been overrun with… all these different issues.”

– Rep. Tony Gonzales (R-TX) 

John Moore/Staff/Getty Images

Texas Response

Governor Abbott said Texas is spending $3 billion alone on border security, including building a wall. He said they are putting up increased fencing and jailing anyone who comes across the barriers. Since he declared the situation a disaster, criminal penalties have been doubled and people could be sent to jail for up to a year for trespassing. 

Biden Administration 

The governor said the Biden administration is beginning to fly some of the Haitian migrants back to their home country, but he said this isn’t nearly enough. He also said the White House is not being transparent about who is being flown out and who’s allowed to stay, and how those decisions are made.

Congressman Tony Gonzales

Rep. Gonzales (R-TX) went to the border himself after reporters were prohibited from the area. 

Although the exact numbers are difficult to confirm, he said he’s been hearing that 10,000 people are going to be processed and released into the country.

Jordan Vonderhaar/Stringer/Getty Images

2) Doctor Sued For Violating Texas Pro-Life Law

The Topline: A doctor in Texas has been sued after he publicly admitted to performing an illegal abortion, violating the state’s new pro-life law which bans most abortions after six weeks.

The Law

The new law outlaws abortions after fetal cardiac activity can be detected, usually around six weeks of pregnancy. More notably, it essentially allows private citizens to sue those who break the law, including those who aid and abet illegal abortion procedures. 

The Lawsuits

Two disbarred lawyers filed separate lawsuits against Alan Braid, an OB/GYN in San Antonio who wrote an op-ed saying he “provided an abortion to a woman who…was beyond the state’s new limit.”

The doctor was sued by a man from Arkansas, Oscar Stilley, who told The New York Times he isn’t pro-life. He said he’s taking legal action because the doctor violated the law. 

Local media also reported the doctor was sued by Felipe Gomez, another disbarred lawyer from Illinois. He describes himself in the lawsuit as a “Pro-Choice plaintiff” and reportedly “asks the judge to order the law is unconstitutional and violates Roe v. Wade.”

Pro-Life Side

Some on the pro-life side aren’t happy about these lawsuits. 

John Seago, the legislative director for Texas Right to Life, said he believes the reason Braid published his op-ed was to attract these kinds of lawsuits. 

He told Morning Wire pro-lifers should proceed with caution since it’s not clear if Braid broke the law based on how he published the op-ed.

Big Picture: The lawsuits could end up undermining the law and allow those performing abortions to find loopholes to get around it, but there’s also a chance it could result in abortions being blocked by legal action.

PAUL RATJE/Contributor/AFP/Getty Images

3) Media Vs. Border Patrol

The Topline: Some reports claimed photos showed Border Patrol agents “whipping” Haitian migrants as they crossed the Rio Grande to illegally enter the country. Border Patrol officials say these accounts are untrue.

The Photos

When pictures emerged of border patrol agents on horseback, chasing fleeing migrants, numerous reporters and media outlets claimed they showed agents using “whips” to round up Haitian migrants. One outlet went so far as to say an agent “swung his whip menacingly.” 

Border Patrol agents blasted the claims, saying they don’t carry whips and what was observed in photos were reins used to direct the horse.

The agents ride with western saddles and bridles, which use split reins that are attached to the bit, but not tied or clasped together. Long strips of leather hang down on either side of the horse’s neck, so if a horse moves quickly to the side, the strip of leather will naturally flow outward. 

The Videos

The videos in question show agents on horseback attempting to block migrants from entering the country. 

When a migrant approaches an agent’s horse, the agent swings the reins around in a circular motion. This was described as whipping, but a Border Patrol agent said this is done to keep migrants from getting too close to the animal. It doesn’t appear as though contact was made between the reins and the migrant.

Biden Administration

The Biden administration is siding with those claiming the Border Patrol agents acted inappropriately. 

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas initially denied that agents had used whips when talking to reporters in Del Rio, Texas, but when he spoke to CNN Tuesday morning, Mayorkas said he was “horrified” by what he saw in the images and the Department of Homeland Security would investigate the matter. 

Timothy A. Clary-Pool/Pool/Getty Images

Other Stories We’re Tracking

Biden At The U.N.

President Biden addressed the United Nations General Assembly for the first time on Tuesday and said the U.S. has “turned the page” on Afghanistan, despite thousands of Americans and allies remaining in the country. The president also suggested the U.S. is not seeking a “new Cold War” with China.

Canada Election

Justin Trudeau will remain as Canada’s Prime Minister, but his goal of winning a majority of seats in the government fell short. Trudeau called a “snap election” in August hoping his “liberal party” would win a majority 170 seats, but the move backfired as many Canadians saw the election as unnecessary and self-serving.

Gabby Petito

Autopsy results released Tuesday determined the body found Sunday in Wyoming was that of Gabby Petito. Final autopsy results are still pending, but the initial cause of death has been ruled a homicide. The 22-year-old disappeared while on a cross-country trip with her fiancé, Brian Laundrie. Her family reported her missing on September 11th. The FBI searched the home of Laundrie’s family in Florida on Monday.

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