Reuters, September 28, EAGLE PASS, Texas Elon Musk, a billionaire, joined the fight about immigration in the US on Thursday. He went to the Texas-Mexico border to talk to local politicians and law enforcement and get a “unfiltered” view of the situation.
Musk’s trip happened at the same time that more people were trying to get refuge in the United States. In recent days, thousands of migrants took freight trains and buses to northern Mexico and then crossed the border into Texas, Arizona, and California.
The sudden increase was most noticeable around San Diego, California, and the Texas border cities of El Paso and Eagle Pass. It came after illegal border crossings had slowed down because of the new asylum policy that Democratic President Joe Biden’s administration put in place to prevent such behavior.
Musk went to Eagle Pass, where thousands of migrants have been swimming through the Rio Grande near a railroad bridge for several days, even though the Texas National Guard has put razor wire coils along the river banks to stop them.
Musk suggested two ways to change U.S. immigration rules in a video selfie he sent to the social media network X, which used to be Twitter. He was wearing a black T-shirt, a black cowboy hat, and aviator-style sunglasses.
He pushed for “expedited legal approval” as part of a “greatly expanded legal immigration system” that accepts “hard-working and honest” migrants but doesn’t let in those who are “breaking the law.”
Musk said, “We want to do both: smooth out legal immigration and stop a flow of people that is so big that it’s causing social services to break down.”
Musk, who was born in South Africa, said that he was a “immigrant to the United States” and that he was “extremely pro-immigrant.”
Musk, the CEO of Tesla (TSLA.O) and SpaceX, has been getting more and more active in American politics.
In May, he crashed Twitter by staging the start of the Republican presidential campaign for Florida Governor Ron DeSantis. He said earlier this month that he had turned down a request from Ukraine to use his Starlink satellite network to help the country defend itself against Russia. Last week, he met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who told him to find a balance between protecting free speech and stopping hate speech on X.
In the 4-minute video, he presented Republican U.S. Representative Tony Gonzales from Texas, whose district runs along the border for more than 800 miles. Gonzales welcomed Musk and said that people living along the Texas border “really feel abandoned.”
Musk has a stake in how well the economy of Texas does. The Texas Gigafactory is in Austin, and Space X has a large testing and launch site in Boca Chica, near Brownsville, on the Texas Gulf Coast.
From Eagle Pass, Texas, Brian Synder sent in news, and from Los Angeles, Steve Gorman wrote and sent in news. Scott Malone and Michael Perry corrected the piece.