OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author’s opinion.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott is continuing to secure a portion of his state’s border with Mexico that has been used by migrants to illegally enter the country despite a cease-and-desist order from President Joe Biden’s Department of Homeland Security.
The Republican governor has ordered the Texas National Guard and state law enforcement personnel to occupy a park near Eagle Pass and set up razor-wire barricades to prevent illegal entry. DHS has demanded that Abbott allow U.S. Border Patrol agents access to the park so they can dismantle the wire barriers but he has refused to do so.
Now, dozens of other governors around the country are stepping up to offer Abbott words of encouragement and material support in the form of Guard troops, law enforcement officers, and other materials to protect and defend the state.
Some members of Congress are also siding with Abbott.
“We need to let Governor Abbott do his job, which is to put up the razor wire – I stand with Texas. We’ve got to secure this border,” Rep. Andy Ogles (R-Tenn.) said.
“Joe Biden and the Democrats in Congress, they are standing with the Mexican drug cartels,” Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) said last week. “They are standing with the invasion that is targeting our state. We have seen 9.6 million illegal immigrants enter this country since Joe Biden became president…and this is deliberate.”
“This is an invasion by people. We don’t know who they are or the dangers they may pose,” Abbott has said.
In a two-week dispute between the state and federal governments over the jurisdiction of a 2.5-mile stretch of Texas land, Abbott made a defiant statement on Wednesday afternoon, openly opposing the Biden administration’s directives to cease action.
Abbott asserted in a public letter that Texas possesses a “constitutional right to self-defense,” emphasizing that the White House had not fulfilled its obligation under the nation’s founding document to ensure that the federal government will protect all 50 states and territories by not taking measures to control the surge of unauthorized immigrants over the previous three years, the Washington Examiner reported.
“The Executive Branch of the United States has a constitutional duty to enforce federal laws protecting states, including immigration laws on the books right now. President Biden has refused to enforce those laws and has even violated them,” Abbott wrote.
My statement on Texas’ constitutional right to self-defense. pic.twitter.com/seNFZdmujP
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) January 24, 2024
After President Biden ignored his earlier pleas to step up border enforcement, Abbott said he was justified in declaring an “invasion” in November 2022.
“The failure of the Biden Administration to fulfill the duties imposed by Article IV, § 4 has triggered Article I,§ 10, Clause 3, which reserves to this State the right of self-defense,” Abbott continued. “For these reasons, I have already declared an invasion under Article I, § 10, Clause 3 to invoke Texas’s constitutional authority to defend and protect itself.”
The governor, serving his third term, stated that due to his belief that the federal government had not upheld its responsibility to safeguard the state at the international border, and as the state opted to take independent action, Texas holds legal justification to bypass existing laws that would otherwise require it to adhere to federal policies.
“That authority is the supreme law of the land and supersedes any federal statutes to the contrary,” Abbott said. “The Texas National Guard, the Texas Department of Public Safety, and other Texas personnel are acting on that authority, as well as state law, to secure the Texas border.”
On Tuesday, the Department of Homeland Security sent a letter to Attorney General Ken Paxton, in which DHS General Counsel Jonathan Meyer criticized the state for its lack of action following the U.S. Supreme Court’s rescinding of an appeals court injunction, permitting federal authorities to remove razor wire fencing in Eagle Pass to aid in the rescue and apprehension of unauthorized immigrants crossing the Rio Grande.
“The state has alleged that Shelby Park is open to the public, but we do not believe this statement is
accurate,” Meyer said.