Border security is being treated as a local problem with local solutions in the Lone Star State after President Joe Biden’s new immigration policies have spiked a surge in illegal crossings. Texas Governor Greg Abbott announced the aptly named Operation Lone Star on March 6. Rather than relying on a federal government disinterested in securing the southern border, Abbott plans to hold the line with the National Guard and state police. The governor’s plan certainly reflects a Lone Star state of mind – it’s Texas to the core – but how long will Biden and his fellow Democrats abide this anti-fed behavior before they step in?
Biden’s Border Blunders
As Liberty Nation’s Kelli Ballard recently explained:
“It’s been two months since Joe Biden planted his derriere in the Oval Office and set to work signing a myriad of Executive Orders. He’s made it very clear that his goal is to undo everything former President Donald Trump accomplished over the previous four years, and one of the new commander-in-chief’s biggest projects is to overhaul the immigration system. Not only is Biden trying to return the nation to an Obama administration era, but he is essentially holding the doors wide open for migrants to cross into America.”
But as illegal crossings – and the smuggling of drugs as well as people – climb, it becomes less clear if Biden means to overhaul the immigration system or keelhaul it. The president has yet to offer solutions for the influx of illegals, many of whom are COVID positive.
John Steinbeck said that “Texas is a state of mind,” and anyone expecting Biden’s border blunders to be the end of the matter is in for a surprise. For fans of state sovereignty, Abbott’s actions may seem appropriate. But the present crop of Democrats isn’t known for its love of states’ rights. Refusing to conform is one of the most egregious sins to the statist. Will Texas be left alone to handle its own business, or will the Democrats push the issue?
Nationalizing the National Guard
When viewed through the lens of the left, the parallel to the 1957 events in Little Rock, AR, is unmistakable. After segregation was ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court, the NAACP registered nine black students at the previously all-white Little Rock Central High School. Governor Orval Faubus sent in the Arkansas National Guard to preserve the peace and make sure no one was hurt. In reality, the Guard’s task was to keep those black students out of the white school. After some back and forth between Faubus and President Dwight Eisenhower, the latter issued Executive Order 10730, federalizing the Arkansas National Guard and ordering them to support the desegregation rather than prevent it.
Eisenhower’s order cites Chapter 15 of Title 10 of the United States Code, specifically sections 332, 333, and 334. That is now Chapter 13, sections 252, 253, and 254. According to section 252, the president can take control of the “militia of any State,” meaning the National Guard, as he considers necessary to enforce the law or suppress rebellion. Section 253 explains that the president can take control of the militia if there is any insurrection, domestic violence, unlawful combination, or conspiracy, if it:
“(1) so hinders the execution of the laws of that State, and of the United States within the State, that any part or class of its people is deprived of a right, privilege, immunity, or protection named in the Constitution and secured by law, and the constituted authorities of that State are unable, fail, or refuse to protect that right, privilege, or immunity, or to give that protection; or
“(2) opposes or obstructs the execution of the laws of the United States or impedes the course of justice under those laws.”
Democrats often bemoan the plight of “undocumented citizens” and equate turning people away at the border – or even requiring they wait for approval before crossing – to forcing black people to use separate water fountains or, in this historical example, different schools.
All the state militias were rolled up into the National Guard thanks to the National Defense Act of 1916. This brought federal funding and equipment as well as national training and uniform standards – but it also brought federal control. To call the National Guard a collection of state militias today is less accurate than calling it federal troops on loan to the states. Abbott can use the Texas National Guard to shore up border security, but only until some federal judge declares it illegal and Biden decides to issue yet another Executive Order. Don’t be too surprised if such an order soon comes. It doesn’t behoove Biden or the left in general for America to see a state like Texas solve its own problems, no federal guidance needed.
Read more from James Fite.