Border Crisis

Texas’ Constitutional Right to Defend Against Invasion Supersedes Federal Law, Says Governor

Texas Governor Gregg Abbott asserts Texas’ constitutional right to defend and protect itself as it relates to the ongoing border crisis gripping the state. His analysis comes in a statement issued on Wednesday while state and federal authorities square off over granting federal agents access to Shelby Park in Eagle Pass, Texas. Governor Abbott ordered state authorities to seize the park in early January. The statement faults President Biden for refusing to enforce immigration laws in the state.

Abbott’s statement asserts in part:

President Biden has violated his oath to faithfully execute immigration laws enacted by Congress. Instead of prosecuting immigrants for the federal crime of illegal entry, President Biden has sent his lawyers into federal courts to sue Texas for taking action to secure the border.

President Biden has instructed his agencies to ignore federal statutes that mandate the detention of illegal immigrants. The effect is to illegally allow their en masse parole into the United States.

By wasting taxpayer dollars to tear open Texas’s border security infrastructure, President Biden has enticed illegal immigrants away from the 28 legal entry points along this State’s southern border— bridges where nobody drowns—and into the dangerous waters of the Rio Grande.

Abbott also included his analysis of the intent of the framers of the U.S. Constitution, saying, “James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, and the other visionaries who wrote the U.S. Constitution foresaw that States should not be left to the mercy of a lawless president who does nothing to stop external threats like cartels smuggling millions of illegal immigrants across the border. That is why the Framers included both Article IV, § 4, which promises that the federal government ‘shall protect each [State] against invasion,’ and Article I, § 10, Clause 3, which acknowledges ‘the States’ sovereign interest in protecting their borders.’ Arizona v. United States, 567 U.S. 387, 419 (2012) (Scalia, J., dissenting).”

In the statement, the Governor lays out his rationale for signing a declaration of invasion under Article I, § 10, Clause 3, invoking Texas’s constitutional authority to defend and protect itself. Abbott says, “That authority is the supreme law of the land and supersedes any federal statutes to the contrary.” 

The statement comes after a 5-4 U.S. Supreme Court order reversing a temporary order by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit stopping the Border Patrol from cutting wire and fencing installed by the state. The court sent the matter back to the lower court as ongoing litigation continues.

The statement comes as the standoff between the Biden Administration and state authorities continues to escalate over the Border Patrol’s access to Shelby Park. The city-owned park sits along a 2.5-mile stretch of the Rio Grande in Eagle Pass. On Tuesday, as reported by Breitbart Texas, DHS General Counsel Jonathan Meyer sent a second demand letter to Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton demanding the state of Texas grant full, unimpeded access to the border city park and boat ramp.

Texas has not published a response to the latest demand by DHS to access the park as of press time.

In response to the initial request by DHS, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton signaled the standoff regarding the park will likely continue, saying:

Rather than addressing Texas’s urgent requests for protection, President Biden has authorized DHS to send a threatening letter through its lawyers. But Texas has lawyers, too, and I will continue to stand up for this State’s constitutional powers of self-defense. Instead of running to the U.S. Department of Justice in hopes of winning an injunction, you should advise your clients at DHS to do their job and follow the law.

Randy Clark is a 32-year veteran of the United States Border Patrol.  Prior to his retirement, he served as the Division Chief for Law Enforcement Operations, directing operations for nine Border Patrol Stations within the Del Rio, Texas, Sector. Follow him on Twitter @RandyClarkBBTX.

Bob Price is the Breitbart Texas-Border team’s associate editor and senior news contributor. He is an original member of the Breitbart Texas team. Price is a regular panelist on Fox 26 Houston’s What’s Your Point? Sunday morning talk show. He also serves as president of Blue Wonder Gun Care ProductsFollow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX.

Gov Abbott Border Statement



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