Governor of Texas Greg Abbott slammed over South Africa tweet

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Governor of Texas Greg Abbott slammed over South Africa tweet

Oakland and Auckland, Australia and Austria, Slovakia and Slovenia… the world is full of countries that sound so similar, you’d be forgiven for mistaking one for the other.

But if you’re the Governor of an American state, making an unsubstantiated, arguably racist statement to more than 686,000 people, you want to be sure you’re talking about the right place.

American Governor of Texas, Greg Abbott, has been accused of making that very mistake following a post he made yesterday on Twitter.

In the post, Abbott falsely claimed over 50 illegal immigrants from South Africa and other countries included in a Biden travel ban had been apprehended by Customs and Border Protection.

He went on to write that Biden had done “nothing to stop immigrants from South Africa entering illegally”.

Biden banned travel from South Africa because of the new Covid variant.

Immigrants have recently been apprehended crossing our border illegally from South Africa.

Biden is doing nothing to stop immigrants from South Africa entering illegally.

Pure politics and hypocrisy.

— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) November 28, 2021

The statement quickly attracted attention and confusion as people suggested Abbott had mistaken the US border with the Texas-Mexico southern border, which the Republican Governor frequently discusses.

Abbott is often vocal about how the Biden administration’s “reckless” border policies have resulted in an increase in illegal migration.

Governor of Texas Greg Abbott slammed over South Africa tweet

Described as a 'firmly conservative leader', Texas Governor Greg Abbott is known for prioritising the preservation of Texas values. Photo / Getty Images

On Friday, Abbott tweeted: “Texas is securing the border. As Biden does nothing, thousands of Texas National Guard and Texas Department of Safety personnel are deployed to protect Texas communities.”

Even if Abbott had been referring to the Mexico-Texas border, US Customs and Border Protection records show that 62 South African nationals were arrested while crossing the southwest border between 2007 and 2020.
https://www.cbp.gov/sites/default/files/assets/documents/2021-Aug/USBORD~3.PDF
This accounts for approximately 0.001 per cent of all US border apprehensions during that time.

In 2019, Border Patrol in Del Rio, Texas did stop 500 African migrants from crossing the Rio Grande however, they were from areas like Angola and the Republic of the Congo. An easily mistaken detail, but one you would want to check before making a public claim as the Governor of a state.

On Twitter, hundreds made light of the mistake, pointing out how the two countries were separated by 12,000 kilometres and an entire ocean.

Did they swim…..because if they did you should probably let them in, give them citizenship and put them in your Olympic team? pic.twitter.com/64HHdBmRsQ

— Ludwich (@askludwich) November 29, 2021

Like this? pic.twitter.com/8hYeTbPIT0

— Shane Holmberg (@shane_holmberg) November 29, 2021

Regardless, Abbott did not delete his Tweet.

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