Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) declared on Tuesday an invasion is happening on the southern border and moved to invoke invasion clauses of the U.S. and Texas constitutions to allow him to boost security at the border.
“I’m using that constitutional authority, & other authorization & Executive Orders to keep our state & country safe,” Abbott said in a tweet.
The governor, who was reelected last week, plans to take a variety of actions, including deploying the National Guard to repel and turn back immigrants he says are trying to cross the border illegally, sending the Texas Department of Public Safety to arrest and return border immigrants who did so and building a border wall in multiple counties.
He also plans to deploy gun boats to secure the border, designate Mexican drug cartels as foreign terrorist organizations, enter into agreements with other states and foreign powers to enhance border security and send resources to border counties to help them respond to the “border invasion.”
Article IV of the U.S. Constitution states that the federal government shall protect each state against invasion.
Enhancing border security was a key issue for Abbott’s reelection campaign against Democrat Beto O’Rourke. Abbott won that race comfortably by about 11 points.
The Biden administration has faced criticism for the situation at the southern border as the U.S. has seen historically high levels of people crossing the border over the past fiscal year.
Abbott and a couple other Republican governors have also received attention in recent months as they have bused or flown migrants to northern cities run by Democrats, often without telling the officials in charge of those cities. Critics have accused the governors of using the migrants as political pawns.