Just how bad is the border crisis? Well, according to 40 counties in Texas, it’s severe enough to call it an “invasion” and proceed accordingly. Seven more counties have called on Gov. Greg Abbott to formally declare the situation an invasion and to repel it. While the governor has sent letters to President Joe Biden suggesting such a move, some think the threat has no teeth while others say the Lone Star State couldn’t legally pull it off anyway.
The Border Crisis Continues to Escalate
“More than 73,000 illegal immigrants evaded Border Patrol agents in November,” Fox News reported, “marking the highest number ever recorded at the southern border.” These migrants are known as “gotaways” because they are the ones agents know have eluded them. This does not include those who were not detected or the thousands that are apprehended daily.
Still, the left and the president refuse to remove the blinders from their eyes and see what is happening right in front of their faces. Despite the many pleas from border-state governors, the surprising move by Abbott and Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) to send border-crossers to sanctuary states, and immigration officials saying they don’t have the resources to handle the huge influx of illegals, Democrats just don’t want to admit there’s a border crisis. Instead of putting more effort into securing the border, Biden is pulling air marshals from the skies to babysit migrants, leaving fewer than 1% of flights having trained security, which makes air travel more dangerous.
Overwhelmed with the surge of illegals and concerned this will only get worse with Title 42 ending, Abbott is considering an even more extreme measure than just shipping them to New York and other sanctuary areas. On July 7, the governor signed an executive order, Operation Lone Star, declaring his right to secure the border. He directed the National Guard as well as Texas Department of Public Safety to arrest those in the state illegally for state crimes and to apprehend migrants who enter Texas illegally. Although the state can’t as yet return them to Mexico, officials are instructed to take the migrants back to port authority and border patrol.
In his letter to Biden, Abbott wrote:
“ … opening our border to this record-breaking level of illegal immigration, you and your Administration are in violation of Article IV, § 4 of the U.S. Constitution. Your sustained dereliction of duty compels Texas to invoke the powers reserved in Article I, § 10, Clause 3, which represents ‘an acknowledgement of the States’ sovereign interest in protecting their borders.’” (Citing Justice Antonin Scalia in Arizona v. US.)
He also said the Founding Fathers knew a president might, in the future, neglect his duty to states:
“They foresaw your failures. In the more than 240 years of our great nation, no Administration has done more than yours to place the States in ‘imminent Danger’ – a direct result of your policy decisions and refusal to deliver on the Article IV, § 4 guarantee. In the absence of action by your Administration to secure the border, every act by Texas officials is taken pursuant to the authority that the Founders recognized in Article I, § 10, Clause 3.”
DeSantis, who supported Operation Lone Star, said Abbott isn’t doing enough and is just wasting resources. He told The Center Square that Texas would “let them come across and release them to the Feds and then the Feds just release them anyways.” He continued:
“What Texas needs to do is just send them back across the border. Who cares what the Feds are saying. They aren’t doing their job. Texas shouldn’t let them come across the border to begin with. They just walk right across the river. No one is stopping them.”
The Legalities of a State Declaring an Invasion
Is the border crisis enough to go against the federal government and declare an invasion? It depends on how one defines “invasion.” The word connotes armed militants coming to claim territory and lives, but Texas’ stance is that the cartels fit this description with their drug and human trafficking and other crimes. They may not be dressed in military uniforms, but then not all “soldiers” wear uniforms. For example, as The Center Square pointed out, “In Afghanistan, insurgents didn’t wear national military uniforms. They waged irregular guerilla (sic) warfare like cartels are doing. They’d establish territorial insurgency shadow governance regimes and take control over local jurisdictions.”
Some argue that the migrants illegally crossing into the United States are just looking for a better life, so it cannot be described as an invasion. However, as The Center Square explained:
“The cartels understand the only way for illegal aliens to make an asylum claim (even invalid ones) is to go through a port of entry, which they control. There isn’t a single person who gets across the Rio Grande River from Mexico without owing the cartels. The cartels control which groups of people (several hundred at a time) cross, when and where, using a counter-lawfare tactic to exploit U.S. laws to their advantage.”
Is mass migration, in reality, an invasion? Many, especially those living along the southern border states, would give a resounding “aye.” There are just not enough resources to sustain the migrant hordes and not enough patrol officers to keep the packs at bay.
In the 1800s, Texas Gov. Sam Houston called on the government to repel the invasion from Mexico. During this time, the land was disputed: President James K. Polk accused Mexican troops of attacking Americans on US soil while Mexicans insisted the territory was theirs. So, if Abbot does go the invasion route, what are his chances of succeeding? Liberty Nation Legal Affairs Editor Scott D. Cosenza explained:
“Federal law doesn’t seem to have a process for the declaration of an invasion by a state. Our federal Constitution goes out of its way in many instances to forbid states from acting in international affairs. It reserves those powers for the federal government. Article 1, Sec. 10 seems to suggest actions by a state to repel an invasion are likely permissible only in instances of imminent danger. If Abbott does as he suggests he may, I suspect federal courts will rebuke his actions.”
But Texans are determined, believing their state and their lives are in imminent danger. With 40 counties already declaring an invasion or backing the governor to do so, it’s just a matter of time before things escalate. As Sam Houston said, “Texas has yet to learn submission to any oppression, come from what source it may.”
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