As Texas Attorney General, Abbott liked to brag about commanding a state police force, even though his office had little authority and less success in preventing violent crime.
Later, during his campaign for Governor, Abbott peppered nearly every speech with broad pledges to “keep Texans safe”, “keep our children safe”, and “enforce the rule of law”, yet he always stopped way short of specifics.
Now, after two years as Governor, Abbott is blowing the “law and order” horn louder than ever, even though his record makes the case that Texans – especially kids – have become less safe with Greg Abbott as Governor.
Here is the first of a series of short LSP reports on how Greg Abbott’s safety rhetoric doesn’t match his unsafe record.
Abbott’s negligence has left Texas foster kids as prey for sex traffickers
During his 2014 campaign Greg Abbott said: “make no doubt, we will continue to hunt down and arrest the human traffickers who exploit children but until we end this scourge, we must do all we can to help the youngest victims.”
The facts, and Abbott’s record, tell a different story.
Last year, Greg Abbott took personal responsibility to reform and repair the Texas Child Protective Services (CPS), which is our state’s child welfare agency. Later in the year, the Dallas Morning News reported that things got worse instead of better for kids in CPS care after Abbott got involved.
Most recently, an investigative report by the Texas Tribune entitled “How hollow rhetoric and a broken child welfare system feed Texas’ sex-trafficking underworld” detailed how thousands of Texas kids failed by CPS have been exploited by human sex traffickers. According to the report, nearly 80,000 kids in Texas are victim to child sex trafficking, and the majority of young sex trafficking victims in Texas have also come into contact with the state’s Child Protective Services system at some point.
Abbott, with help from Attorney General Ken Paxton, is even challenging a court order to avoid making reforms to protect Texas foster kids. In 2015, a federal judge ruled that the Texas foster care system is so profoundly broken and dangerous that it denies children their civil rights. Rather than settle the case and implement the reforms ordered by the Court, Abbott and Paxton are appealing the decision and spending taxpayer funds to drag the most vulnerable kids in Texas through the court system.
The Tribune report sums up the Abbott/GOP record plainly enough stating, they “…failed to confront the role the child welfare system plays in providing a supply of vulnerable kids to criminals waiting to exploit them.”