The near-unanimous passage of House Concurrent Resolution 64 might be a new low for the West Virginia Legislature.
By adopting this xenophobic and paranoid resolution, legislators signaled they approve of the lawless actions of Texas officials, who are ignoring a ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court and brutally cracking down on human beings trying to flee to the U.S. for safety in record numbers.
The resolution falsely labels these human beings as part of an “invasion.” It stokes fears by alleging that millions of those who are crossing the border are “military-age men.” It incorrectly states that Texas has a right to ignore U.S. Supreme Court rulings it doesn’t like. It reads like a neo-Confederate manifesto.
The crisis at the border is a humanitarian one. The federal government and Texas have experimented with every possible cruel policy at their disposal — from Title 42, to family detention, to family separation, to razor wire. These policies have never stopped people from coming to the U.S. — instead they created incredible harm, devastating families and leaving vulnerable people exposed to rape, torture, murder, and kidnapping while preventing them from accessing our asylum system.
Some have indicated they voted for the resolution because it was a “do-nothing," or "virtue-signaling” measure. While they do not carry the force of law, resolutions are not meaningless because words are not meaningless. Resolutions are values statements. Earlier this week, we said that cruelty at the border is a sign of our failure to live up to our values. After seeing the rollcall on this resolution (94-0 with six absent) we have to wonder if any of our legislators even have values to live up to.