“Our children deserve a president who puts their needs and survival first,” Abbot says in a statement released with the National Border Control Council.
As frantic parents across the country scramble to find infant formula for their babies, banding together in makeshift Facebook groups to help one another keep their children safely fed, Texas Governor Greg Abbott and his buddies at the National Border Control Council have issued an astonishing statement that calls their supposed pro-life family values into question — and makes them look pretty racist and xenophobic to boot.
The governor baldly states that U.S. children are more deserving of life-sustaining nutrition than babies born elsewhere. “Children are our most vulnerable, precious Texans and deserve to be put first,” reads the statement. “While mothers and fathers stare at empty grocery store shelves in a panic, the Biden Administration is happy to provide baby formula to illegal [sic] immigrants coming across our southern border.”
To clarify, the immigrants he’s referring to have arrived at the border to seek asylum in the U.S., as is their legal right. Because they’re being detained by the Department of Homeland Security, they must rely upon the government to provide them with food. It’s not as though they can run out to Walmart. They’re incarcerated.
“Our children deserve a president who puts their needs and survival first — not one who gives critical supplies to illegal [sic] immigrants before the very people he took an oath to serve,” reads the Governor’s statement, as though the act of not allowing immigrant babies to starve is super-terrible.
It’s hard to understand what Abbott would do if he were in power — take the formula from all immigrants seeking asylum and distribute it how? And feed the immigrant babies what?
File under: someone criticizing someone else’s plan without offering any kind of alternative solution.
The current formula shortage is real, and causing parents a great amount of stress — particularly for those whose children have allergies or other medical conditions that require the use of specialized, harder-to-find formulas.
Caused in great part by the recall of several formulas produced by Abbott at its now-closed Sturgis, Michigan facility, and exacerbated by pandemic-related supply chain issues that had been building for months, the shortage has been sharply worsening in recent weeks. According to Datasembly, a company that collects product data for retailers, 43% of infant formulas were out of stock the week ending May 8. In comparison, Datasembly calculates that the out of stock rate for formula in the first six months of 2021 was 2-8%.
While those numbers are alarming, there is still formula available, and parents, pediatricians, and government agencies like WIC are working hard to make ensure that every baby remains fed.
But Governor Abbott isn’t concerned with every baby. As if there was any doubt to which children Governor Abbott considers “ours,” one need look no further back than last week, when the governor indicated that he might seek to overturn a 1982 Supreme Court decision that requires states to provide education for children regardless of immigration status. If such an attempt were successful, public schools could refuse to enroll children who are undocumented.
The governor’s concern for the lives of children, so extreme that it extends all the way back to the 6th week of pregnancy, as evidenced by his support of Texas’s draconian abortion ban, seems not to apply to children who happen to have been born in other countries or kids who aren’t lucky enough to be citizens.