Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) declared an “invasion” at the southern border on Tuesday and indicated that he would be taking a series of “unprecedented measures … to keep our state & country safe.”
What are the details?
On Monday, Abbott wrote a letter to county judges along the Texas-Mexico border, claiming, “President Biden has abandoned his responsibility to enforce immigration laws, and Congress has refused to hold the President accountable and has abandoned its own responsibility to use the immigration power given to it in Article I, § 8 of the U.S. Constitution.”
The Republican governor invoked Article 4, Section 7 of the Texas Constitution, which states that the governor “shall have power to call forth the militia to execute the laws of the State, to suppress insurrections, and to repel invasions.”
Accordingly, Abbott stated that he would use his constitutional authority, as well as other authorization and executive orders, to:
“Deploy the National Guard to safeguard our border & to repel & turn back immigrants trying to cross the border illegally”;”Deploy the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) to arrest & return the border immigrants who crossed illegally & deploy DPS to arrest illegal immigrants for criminal activity”;”Build a border wall in multiple counties on the border”;”Deploy gun boats to secure the border”;”Designate Mexican drug cartels as foreign terrorist organizations”;”Enter into a compact with other states to secure the border”;”Enter into agreements with foreign powers to enhance border security”; and”Provide resources for border counties to increase their efforts to respond to the border invasion.”
On Tuesday, Abbott announced via social media that he had “invoked the Invasion Clauses of the U.S. & Texas Constitutions to fully authorize Texas to take unprecedented measures to defend our state against an invasion.”
This announcement came just hours after Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas told the House Committee on Homeland Security that the border was secure.
Fox News reported that FBI Director Christopher Wray painted a different picture of the situation at the border than had Mayorkas, saying on Tuesday: “What I would say is that we see significant criminal threats coming from south of the border — whether it’s guns, drugs, money, violence.”
Hopkins County declared first
Abbott’s public, statewide declaration of an invasion was both preceded and implored by citizens of Hopkins County, Texas.
KETK reported that the Hopkins County commissioners court approved the declaration of a local state of disaster in the county on Monday.
The declaration stated that the “health, safety and welfare of Hopkins County residents are under an imminent threat of disaster from the unprecedented levels of illegal immigration, human trafficking and drug smuggling coming across the U.S. border from Mexico.”
The Hopkins County declaration said the “ongoing immigration crisis on the Texas border is not acceptable and has resulted in a security threat and humanitarian disaster with overwhelming consequences to the residents of Hopkins County.”
Over 2.76 million illegal aliens stole over the southern border into the United States during fiscal year 2022.
So far this year, there have been 1,142 criminal noncitizens convicted of assault; 1,614 convicted of driving under the influence; 62 convicted of homicide; 365 convicted of sexual offenses; and thousands more convicted of other crimes.
The Hopkins County declaration requested that Abbott, “as Commander-in-Chief of the military forces of the State, declare the existence of an invasion on its border with Mexico and take necessary actions to preserve and protect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Texas.”
Abbott did just that.