As thousands of illegal immigrants continue to pour across the U.S. border with Mexico under the Biden administration’s lax policies, Governor Greg Abbott has issued an executive order that will allow Texas law enforcement agencies, including the National Guard, to apprehend would-be border-jumpers in the state and return them to the border.
In a Thursday statement, Abbott blasted President Joe Biden for “enriching” the drug cartels with his “open border” policies.
“While President Biden refuses to do his job and enforce the immigration laws enacted by Congress, the State of Texas is once again stepping up and taking unprecedented action to protect Americans and secure our southern border,” he said. “The cartels have become emboldened and enriched by President Biden’s open border policies, smuggling in record numbers of people, weapons, and deadly drugs like fentanyl.”
“I have authorized the Texas National Guard and Texas Department of Public Safety to begin returning illegal immigrants to the border to stop this criminal enterprise endangering our communities,” the statement continued. “As the challenges on the border continue to increase, Texas will continue to take action to address those challenges cased by the Biden Administration.”
The statement cites the “Biden Administration’s decision to end Title 42 expulsions and the Remain-in-Mexico policy” as the reason for “historic levels of illegal crossings.”
Over the July 4th weekend alone, Abbott states, 5,000 migrants were apprehended as they tried to sneak into the country.
I issued an Executive Order authorizing the Texas National Guard & Texas Dept. of Public Safety to return illegal immigrants to the border.
Cartels have become emboldened by Biden's open border policies.
Texas is taking unprecedented action to STOP this criminal enterprise. pic.twitter.com/ag08ACYP3Y
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) July 7, 2022
The EO comes on the heels of calls from Texas counties and lawmakers for the governor to declare the crisis at the border an “invasion.”
As American Wire News reported on Wednesday, “Judges, mayors, attorneys and sheriffs in Uvalde, Kinney and Goliad counties” pressed Abbott to make a formal “invasion” declaration, “warning they can’t continue to divert their limited resources to the overwhelming situation at the border.”
‘The invasion is real’: Texas county officials pressure Gov Abbott to act on border crisis https://t.co/XxITW96xe8
— American Wire News (@americanwire_) July 6, 2022
With an official declaration, and under Texas law and the U.S. Constitution, Abbott would be granted the authority to declare war against such an “invasion.”
Rep. Chip Roy (R-Texas) took to Fox News’s “America’s Newsroom” to voice his support for an invasion declaration.
“We are dealing with an invasion,” he said. “We are dealing with Texans dying from fentanyl pouring into our communities. Our ranchers are getting overrun, their livestock are getting out, their fences are getting cut. Our communities are dealing with that. So all of these leaders in the counties in south Texas are asking for is that Texas step up, and we go do what the federal government refuses to do.”
(Video: Fox News)
While Abbott’s EO stopped short of calling the crisis an “invasion,” it did state that the Biden administration has “abandoned the covenant, in Article IV, § 4 of the U.S. Constitution, that ‘[t]he United States…shall protect each [State in this Union] against Invasion…'”
According to Russ Vought and Ken Cuccinelli of the Center for Renewing America, Abbott’s latest executive order simply doesn’t go far enough.
“We acknowledge Governor Abbott’s recognition that the facts on the ground along with border comport with the Constitution’s understanding of an invasion,” the duo — both of whom served in the Trump administration — said in a joint statement.
“However,” they continued, “the Governor does not appear to formally declare an invasion nor direct the National Guard and [DPS] to remove illegals across the border directly to Mexico.”
“That is critical,” they say. “Otherwise this is still catch and release.”
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