Things on the southern border are bad, and they are getting worse. The Biden administration is enabling this, and at least one border-state governor has had enough. On Wednesday, Texas Governor Greg Abbott issued a statement putting the Biden administration on notice over illegal immigration.
My statement on Texas’ constitutional right to self-defense. pic.twitter.com/seNFZdmujP
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) January 24, 2024
Nobody with the sense of a stuffed armadillo can deny that the Biden administration’s border policies have been a calamity. A few points in Governor Abbott’s statement, though, merit some serious consideration, not just in light of the immigration problem but in the sense that there is a constitutional crisis in the offing. The governor writes:
The federal government has broken the compact between the United States and the States. 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. The result is that he has smashed records for illegal immigration.
Despite having been put on notice in a series of letters – one of which I delivered to him by hand – President Biden has ignored Texas’s demand that he perform his constitutional duties.
Note the language here; the governor is striking a defiant tone, not least of which is his deliberate use of the term “illegal immigration” rather than the squishy “migrants” or “undocumented immigrants.” It looks like Governor Abbott has had enough. He has a lot of company.
What’s more, Governor Abbott is citing the Constitution to back up his claim:
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. 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. That authority is the supreme law of the land and supersedes any federal statutes to the contrary. 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.
In the Constitution, Article I, § 10, Clause 3 states:
No State shall, without the Consent of Congress, lay any Duty of Tonnage, keep Troops, or Ships of War in time of Peace, enter into any Agreement or Compact with another State, or with a foreign Power, or engage in War, unless actually invaded, or in such imminent Danger as will not admit of delay.
Governor Abbott is referring to the “unless actually invaded” clause; he has declared an invasion and intends to continue using whatever means Texas can muster to stop the endless influx of illegal aliens. When one looks at the state of the southern border, it’s hard to deny the invasion part of his complaint.
See Related: 30 Hours on Biden’s Open Border
This is very likely to provoke a constitutional crisis, the likes of which have not been seen since 1860. The Supreme Court has inexplicably ruled that Texas must stand aside and allow federal forces to remove the barriers Texas has put in place to try to stem the flood; Texas is showing every sign of channeling Andrew Jackson and stating, “The Court has made their decision, now let them enforce it.”
Think about the implications of this. What happens if there is a confrontation between Texas and federal forces? What happens if shots are exchanged? What happens if someone on either side is injured or killed? That would be, candidly, like unto a second Fort Sumter.
Illegal immigration isn’t just something that affects Texas or the border states. It’s a national issue. The Biden administration has deliberately allowed over six million illegal aliens to invade U.S. territory. In most cases, we have very little idea who any of the people are who are coming in; we have no idea where they are going or what they intend to do when they get there. One of them made a very direct threat and was still allowed in.
This, incidentally, will be the issue in this fall’s presidential election.
Texas is stepping in where Washington, D.C., has failed to act, and they have a pretty clear constitutional avenue to justify their actions. Other states may well join in. These are uncharted waters, and the only thing we can know for certain is that neither side seems willing to back down.