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Does Texas Have the Right to Defend Its Border?

Posted on Tuesday, February 6, 2024
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by Outside Contributor
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63 Comments

By Dale Wilcox

Texas and American flags

The federal government is accusing the state of Texas of violating the law in taking action to stop the influx of illegal aliens at its southern border, but the Lone Star State has both the legal and the moral high ground to do so.

The crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border reached a crescendo late last month after a narrow Supreme Court majority ruled in favor of the federal government’s authority to cut down razor wire Texas had put up in order to repel illegal aliens seeking to enter the state. This ruling and the subsequent actions of the Biden Administration provoked a fierce response from Texas Gov. Greg Abbott. 

“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,” the governor said.

Abbott cited multiple provisions of the U.S. Constitution, including Article IV, Section 4, which requires the federal government to protect states from invasion. Abbott also cited Article 1, Section 10, Clause 3 to back up his state’s authority to defend itself from invasion. Predictably, allies of the Biden Administration and anti-borders activists accused the governor of defying the Supreme Court, with some elected officials calling on Joe Biden to federalize the Texas National Guard in order to bring the state to heel. This is preposterous. Texas is not defying the Supreme Court, and it has done nothing to run afoul of the Constitution.

The Supreme Court’s unexplained order simply vacated an injunction that had prohibited the federal government from cutting Texas’ razor wire. It did not order Texas to take or not take any action. This case and other related cases will make their way through the courts, but Texas has solid constitutional grounds to defend itself. As Immigration Reform Law Institute Director of Litigation Chris Hajec explained at a congressional hearing on Tuesday, states “may pass non-preemptive laws,” and “may also decide to engage in war,” in order to defend themselves from invasion.

The notion that states are powerless to defend themselves from invasion is farcical. There is no chance the states would have ever agreed to ratify a Constitution that left them powerless to defend themselves in the face of a foreign invasion enabled by a lawless federal government. They didn’t because the Constitution does give states recourse to do exactly what Texas is doing.

Beyond the legal arguments being made against the state of Texas, the moral logic anti-borders activists are using to deride the state are equally unconscionable. Essentially, the Biden Administration believes they can facilitate an invasion of the state of Texas, run roughshod over its way of life, destroy its ranches and communities, and Texans are just supposed to sit back and take it all. The complete disregard the current administration has for the second-largest state in the country they are supposed to defend is a major reason Texas and the nation at large have reached such a boiling point over this crisis.

For three years, the Biden Administration’s anti-borders agenda has facilitated the arrival of millions of illegal aliens. The good news is that accountability appears to finally be coming, not just in Texas, but in Washington, D.C. as well. After years of tough talk, the House of Representatives finally appears ready to make good on its threat to impeach Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, who has spent the last three years refusing to enforce federal immigration law. The American public is also making clear that they’ve had enough as immigration is now the top concern facing U.S. voters, according to a recent poll. Amidst all of the backlash, the Biden Administration is feeling the heat.

While there have been no changes in policy, public outcry has forced Biden into a rhetorical retreat. Biden finally admitted recently that he has failed to secure the border after spending years denying there was a crisis at all. The White House also released a statement from Biden late last month requesting that Congress give the administration authority to “shut down the border,” which he pledged to do.

To be clear, this is empty rhetoric from an administration that already has all the tools it needs to end the crisis. Still, the significant shift in messaging demonstrates how Texas’ resilience and a motivated Congress have put this administration on its heels, and forced it to finally confront the magnitude of the crisis it created.

With its future at stake, Texas is showing the Biden Administration that it picked the wrong state to mess with. Despite assertions to the contrary, Texas has both a legal and a moral right to defend itself, and it should use every tool at its disposal to do so.

Dale L. Wilcox is executive director and general counsel at the Immigration Reform Law Institute, a public interest law firm working to defend the rights and interests of the American people from the negative effects of mass migration.

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PaulE
PaulE
26 days ago

To answer the question posed by the title of the article, the answer is YES. People need to seriously read the Constitution instead of simply listening to the talking heads on TV. Educate yourselves people or be relegated to being the “useful idiots” the political class wants you to be. The United States Constitution clearly states that if the federal government intentionally fails to honor its responsibility to secure the borders against a foreign invasion, a power that the states agreed to allow the federal government to handle as part of the states agreeing to join the union that created the federal government in the first place, that the states then have the right to defend the sovereign borders of the United States themselves.

One can easily make the case that the Biden administration has intentionally thrown the borders of this country wide open by choosing to NOT enforce existing laws related to both immigration and national security of the United States. Just in the last 3 1/2 years, over 9 million illegals have streamed across our open borders and essentially invaded the United States. By the time the election rolls around, that number will be over 10 million. If that doesn’t constitute an invasion by foreign sources, then nothing does. So yes, Texas and every other state in this country, has a legal right to defend their states from the incoming hoard.

Now whether the Supreme Court under Roberts will rule that way is another matter. Roberts has always been more than willing to invent a legal justification, where none exists, to help the Democrats. So, we’re basically a coin toss as to whether the SC will rule in favor of Texas and the other states or land on the side of the SC making up some BS to allow the invasion to continue as we watch the country become a third-world cesspool.

Scottymom
Scottymom
25 days ago

Yes. States have a right to defend themselves. God bless gov. Abbott for taking a stand against these illegal entries. I pray the other states will follow his lead.

Howard
Howard
25 days ago

In the Mayorkas’ impeachment case mentioned in the article, four Republicans (should I call them RINOS?) turned tail and voted against impeachment, thus killing the action for now and dealing the Republicans a blow. But, regardless, Texas has the absolute right to defend its border when Useless Joe won’t.

Stephen Russell
Stephen Russell
26 days ago

YES , ALL STATES

Richard Irvin
Richard Irvin
25 days ago

Biden and the dumbocRATs in DC have failed in their responsibility at the border so Texas must do their job for them

GMA
GMA
26 days ago

Absolutely…Texas and all of us have a right to protect..IT SHOULD BE THE GOVERNMENT..

Drue
Drue
25 days ago

We are VERY close to a Civil War. It is time for lawful American citizens to repel illegal immigrants at our borders. My first suggestion would be to employ water cannons with water treated with skunk spray. If that didn’t work, then rubber bullets. After that…….. well I guess the real thing. All the while broadcasting recorded warnings in multiple languages. Desperate times call for desperate measures. Years ago, Israel employed the stinky water cannon method and it worked for them. No one wants violence but deadly violence is being used on the citizenry our own people and that has to stop.

Jeannie Huppert
Jeannie Huppert
25 days ago

YES! Texas, all the border states; Ohio, all the “inland” states; Israel, & every decent country, state, etc. MUST protect themselves, NOT letting in just anyone! This should be “duh”. Try to go to most any other country & tell ’em you want to demand they do as you want . . . . “You” may leave there a whole lot faster than you got there, because it’s just SANE: something woke does not want to comprehend . . . . . PRAY!

anna hubert
anna hubert
25 days ago

I always thought that the first business of every state and it’s government was the security of the country it’s border and the citizens living within it Everything else comes after that This administration made everything else it’s priority and created chaos impossible to manage No state can survive the invasion of uncontrollable hordes This is stoppable but it is by design so it will not be stopped

Rabi
Rabi
25 days ago

Go Texas for standing up to protect our border. For taking action that our government should be doing.

Robert Zuccaro
Robert Zuccaro
25 days ago

This is like calling the police for an armed burglar trying to break in but they tell you they aren’t coming so you shoot him in your living room and only then do they respond but to arrest YOU! The government, like those police, abdicated their responsibility. Under the 10th Am. Texas was then authorized to act! Don’t know why this is in dispute.

A Texas soldier
A Texas soldier
26 days ago

We are running low on chick fil la and general kid rock has retreated. I fear that that Mexican forces will cross at this rate.
~diary of a Texas soldier

Kim
Kim
25 days ago

If you didn’t check the link, here it is:
“Article I  Section 10 Powers Denied States

  • Clause 3 Acts Requiring Consent of Congress
  • 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.”

The operative phrase here is “unless actually invaded, or in such imminent danger”. Looks as though Abbott has a case.

joe smith
joe smith
25 days ago

they did nothing for thier country and they will do nothing for ours.

John Shipway
John Shipway
25 days ago

Of course the knee jerk reaction is to praise Abbot for this “stand”. A bit late but it seems right one is led to believe.
But is it more theater than function? I would think that completely cutting off social services to any and every illegal migrant and by that I mean a migrant that has yet to go through the entire LEGAL process of immigrating. Couple that with an iron clad system of “E-Verify” where opening bank accounts, purchasing cars but most importantly gaining employment is concerned. If some employer insists on hiring “wetback” labor under the table then provide punishments for such acts incredibly severe as in 5 year minimum mandatory sentences coupled with HUGE fines.
Such REAL acts would end illegal immigration in a heartbeat and Governor Abbot knows this. I only hope that is NOT the reason he isn’t enacting such common sense rules.

Randall L. Beatty
Randall L. Beatty
25 days ago

I think that gov Abbott is doing a great job defending his states border can’t leave it up to the White House and others in Washington. What is really sad these people do not care what they let into this country they would turn this country into a third world country look at all the starting violence in different states with illegals it is just a start and what does our great president say it is Trumps fault after all these years and all the millions of people from all over the world he let in what liar and that includes many up in the White House and Washington they all should be fired.

Shannon
Shannon
24 days ago

Hoorah for Texas

Gary
Gary
24 days ago

EVERY state should join with Texas to reaffirm the rights our federal government has been choosing to ignore!Before the tyrants in charge have a chance to decide that it is now illegal for them to do so.

David Warren
David Warren
25 days ago

DON’T MESS WITH TEXAS

Melinda
Melinda
25 days ago

There are so many things done by this administration to damage our country, our freedoms, our way of life, but the border invasion has to be at the top of the list.

Jackie
Jackie
25 days ago

This border issue is a big problem that Democrats initiated and allows to continue. And if the federal government isn’t going to do their job of protecting the citizens, then why shouldn’t the state’s be allowed to do the feds job for them?? Why should we suffer because the Feds don’t want to do their job!!

Gabe Hanzeli kent wa
Gabe Hanzeli kent wa
25 days ago

Of course it does. It also has the right to arrest and in prison federal agents aiding and abetting the invasion: including biden and mayorkas.

Myrna
Myrna
25 days ago

I am thankful that we have a constitution and hope that democrats will stop trying to use their imaginations to turn it around until it is entirely backward.

Rollin Bird
Rollin Bird
25 days ago

Good on Governor Abbott. Hope other border states follow-suit. I wish this would have happened years ago. I lived north of Houston for 44 years and experienced first-hand lawlessness by illegals, much of which didn’t make national news.

Sean Rickman
Sean Rickman
24 days ago

Yes TEXAS does have a right to defend its border,if I wasn’t in my eighties I would be there.The feds are an evil corrupt clan that answers to the likes of soros,obama and the rest of the corrupt entities that are looking at votes,no matter what it does to our country.These people are the worse of the worst,are you listening leftists ??????????

Pam
Pam
24 days ago

According to the State Constitutions, all states have a right to defend its people, especially if the Federal Government fails to uphold the Oath they swore to our US Constitution!!!!

Bryan
Bryan
24 days ago

The mere idea the feds think Texas is the law breaker here is absurd. The feds aren’t upholding our border laws, so Texas has to. This current administration wants and condones illegal immigrants. They said it outloud, as if we needed to actually hear it. We can see it with our own eyes.

Dennis Larsen
Dennis Larsen
24 days ago

True facts. We all need to protect our children’s future.

Thomas
Thomas
24 days ago

YES is the answer. States Rights take precedence when the Federal Government fails to perform.
The current executive administration has failed in every aspect of its responsibility to the citizens of our Constitutional Republic.

Eileen Erikson
Eileen Erikson
24 days ago

This country is going to hell in a hand basket with these moronic administration! God help us! God bless Texas!

Bill
Bill
24 days ago

Yes!!!! Texas has the right to defend its borders.With our question!!!!

Laurie
Laurie
24 days ago

The federal government is now anti-American and need removed. Illegals are breaking our border laws and need prosecuted not rewarded

Daniel Blackmore
Daniel Blackmore
24 days ago

If a few of the cartel members would disappear at the border it might slow down the illegals coming in.IMO

Timothy Kennedy
Timothy Kennedy
24 days ago

Yes Texas has the right to protect it’s borders!

OlePat
OlePat
24 days ago

Sounds good, but only rhetorically.

Randy Snyder
Randy Snyder
24 days ago

Yes, this is America, we don’t need a invasion into our Country.the constitution says we have that right to defense our country.from a invasion.

Randy Snyder
Randy Snyder
24 days ago

Why isn’t my opinion important

Randy
Randy
24 days ago

Poyou

Chris Grodhaus
Chris Grodhaus
25 days ago

Too late, Texas is already screwed.

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ft wurth
25 days ago

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Des Moines, IA / USA - 01/30/2020: President Donald J. Trump on Thursday 01/30/2020 speaking at his Keep America Great Again rally in Des Moines, Iowa at Drake University's Knapp Center.
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