Texas Governor Invokes Invasion Clause to Push Back Migrants Crossing Border

 Texas Governor Greg Abbott announced he is invoking the “Invasion Clauses of the U.S. and Texas Constitutions” to protect the state from the record-setting influx of migrants. Nearly two-thirds of all migrants illegally crossing the border enter through the five Texas-Based Border Patrol sectors.

Governor Abbott tweeted on Tuesday morning that he invoked the Invasion Clauses of the U.S. and Texas Constitutions in order to protect citizens of the State of Texas from the continuing border crisis created by changes in border security and immigration policies under the Biden administration.

The governor said the Invasion Clause grants the state the ability to turn back immigrants attempting to illegally cross the border into Texas.

The governor’s plans include:

  • Deploy the National Guard to safeguard the border, and to repel and turn back immigrants trying to cross the border illegally
  • Deploy the Texas Dept. of Public Safety (DPS) to arrest and return immigrants to the border who crossed illegally, and to arrest illegal immigrants for criminal activity;
  • Build a wall in multiple counties on the border;
  • Deploy gun boats;
  • 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;
  • Provide resources for border counties to increase their efforts to respond to the “border invasion.”

The move by the Texas governor comes after back-to-back record years of migrant border apprehensions following changes in policies by the Biden administration. Official reports from U.S. Customs and Border Protection show the apprehension of more than 2.2 million migrants in the just ended Fiscal Year 2022 and nearly 1.7 million in Fiscal Year 2021. During the last full year of the Trump administration agents apprehended only 400,000 migrants.

Nearly two-thirds of migrant apprehensions occur in the five Texas-based Border Patrol sectors, according to reports from CBP. This amounts to 1.26 million migrants in FY22.

Article IV Section 4 of the United States Constitution states:

The United States shall guarantee to every state in this union a republican form of government, and shall protect each of them against invasion; and on application of the legislature, or of the executive (when the legislature cannot be convened) against domestic violence.

And, in the Texas Constitution, Article 4, Section 7 states:

GOVERNOR AS COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF OF MILITARY FORCES. He shall be Commander-in-Chief of the military forces of the State, except when they are called into actual service of the United States. He shall have power to call forth the militia to execute the laws of the State, to suppress insurrections, and to repel invasions.

The governor’s order on Tuesday represents the next step in an increasing response to the lack of action by the federal government to secure the U.S.-Mexico border — particularly in Texas.

“Since President Biden took office over a year ago, his dangerous open border policies have created an ongoing crisis along our southern border, with a 61-year record-high of illegal immigrants surging into our state smuggled by the cartels, along with deadly drugs like fentanyl, weapons, and other contraband,” Governor Abbott’s spokesperson Renae Eze told Breitbart in April. “Texas border communities and local officials are overwhelmed and overrun by the historic levels of illegal crossings, and President Biden has turned a blind eye to their suffering.”

Early in April, Governor Abbott ordered the enhanced inspection of commercial vehicles entering Texas from Mexico in an effort to pressure Mexican border states to take action to secure their side of the Rio Grande, Breitbart Texas reported.

In June 2021, Governor Abbott deployed additional members of the Texas National Guard and Texas Department of Public Safety troopers under Operation Lone Star to build new border barriers and assist in the apprehension of migrants illegally crossing the border.

In September of this year, Governor Abbott ordered the “dismantling” of certain Mexican drug cartels and declared them to be “terrorist organizations,” Breitbart reported.

“Fentanyl is a clandestine killer, and Texans are falling victim to the Mexican cartels that are producing it,” Governor Abbott said during a border security round table in Midland, Texas, in September. “Cartels are terrorists, and it’s time we treated them that way. In fact, more Americans died from fentanyl poisoning in the past year than all terrorist attacks across the globe in the past 100 years. In order to save our country, particularly our next generation, we must do more to get fentanyl off our streets.”

County commissioners in Kinney County, Texas, became the first county in Texas to declare the “existence of an invasion” in July and called on Abbott to follow suit.

The officials stated the county has been forced to “militarize our school campus with vehicle barriers to prevent high-speed chases from entering campus and injuring children.”

“As a Texan, this is not acceptable,” County Judge Tully Shahan wrote. “We will no longer allow the sovereignty of Texas to be invaded by those unwilling to obey our laws.”

On the eve of the Kinney County declaration, Texas Lt. Governor Dan Patrick told Fox News Anchor Trace Gallagher, “We are being invaded. If we’re being invaded under the Constitution, I think that gives us the power to put hands on people and send them back.”

In response to the Kinney County declaration, Governor Abbott’s office responded.

“All strategies remain on the table as Texas continues stepping up in the federal government’s absence,” Abbott’s spokesman Renae Eze said in a written statement in July. “While President Biden ignores the ever-growing humanitarian crisis, and Congressional members visit the border for photo-ops and then return to Washington to do nothing, Texas has deployed thousands of Texas National Guard soldiers and DPS troopers and allocated over $4 billion of Texas taxpayer money to secure our border, including building our own border wall, erecting strategic barriers, and sending significant resources to help our local partners as was mentioned repeatedly in the Brackettville press conference.”

“It’s past time for President Biden—and for both parties in Congress—to do their jobs and secure our southern border,” Eze added. “As the challenges on the border continue to increase, Texas will continue to take additional unprecedented action to address those challenges caused by the Biden Administration.”

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