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Republicans Rally Behind Texas Governor Greg Abbott at the Border

The standoff between the Lone Star State and Biden's border patrol continues – and America is taking sides.

By:  |  February 3, 2024  |    965 Words
GettyImages-1497023906 Greg Abbott - Texas

Greg Abbott (Photo by Brandon Bell/Getty Images)

Despite a Supreme Court ruling that federal agents are allowed – for now – to cut the razor wire and re-open the border, the standoff between Texas and the Biden administration continues. Governor Greg Abbott isn’t backing down, and the much of the Republican Party is standing with him.

America Takes Sides

A group of 25 Republican governors released a statement Thursday, January 25, supporting Governor Abbott’s claim that Texas has a “constitutional right to self-defense.” While the state remains embroiled in a legal battle with the Biden administration – which the Supreme Court has yet to decide, despite the short-term ruling issued Monday – Governor Abbott has kept Shelby Park in Eagle Pass, a popular spot for illegal immigration, locked down with the Texas National Guard and the Texas State Police. Rows of razor wire line the border – and more is being added after the High Court said federal agents could continue their task of clearing it away. Border Patrol, however, still isn’t allowed in the park.

news and current events bannerOf the 27 Republican governors in the US, only two didn’t sign on to this letter: Vermont’s Phil Scott and Greg Abbott himself – who, of course, might have come away looking a bit silly had he signed a letter that declares he stands behind himself.

Former President – and current Republican front-runner – Donald Trump also spoke up for Governor Abbott, as did independent candidate Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and Senator John Kennedy (R-LA).

That Trump supports Abbott against both Joe Biden the man and illegal immigration the issue comes as no surprise. Support from former Democrat RFK, Jr., on the other hand, may have shocked some – though perhaps it shouldn’t, given his recent campaign positions and that he’s running against Biden as well as Trump.

Both Trump and RFK, Jr. took a political approach to the issue. Sen. John Kennedy, on the other hand, spoke to a more economic angle. “Pres. Biden’s failed border policies have wreaked havoc in every corner of our country, including Louisiana,” he tweeted. “According to one estimate, Louisianians pay an additional $4,613 PER illegal migrant – that’s about $604 MILLION per year – in state taxes because of illegal immigration.”

Democrats and others on the left, of course, accused Abbott – and Republicans in general – of interfering with the federal government just for the sake of having the illegal immigration and border security issue to campaign on in an election year. Some even go so far as to advocate Biden federalize the Texas National Guard and take control by force.

The Texas Border – Who Owns It?

The final paragraph of Section 10 of the US Constitution reads:

“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 invaded, or in such imminent Danger as will not admit of delay.”

Note that there are three exceptions to the rule that states won’t do these various things. First, Congress could give permission. Second, the state might be invaded. And third, the state could face “imminent Danger as will not admit of delay.” That last item is vague – probably on purpose – and allows plenty of room for interpretation (presumably the courts’ job) in case something other than an actual invasion threatened a state immediately enough as to leave no time to consult Congress before acting.

GettyImages-1968514336 illegal immigration

(Photo by David Peinado/Anadolu via Getty Images)

Since the Constitution says states can’t do these things without meeting one or more of those exceptions, a strict reading reveals that, in the presence of such a circumstance, they can.

So, if the flow of migrants illegally crossing the border can be legitimately considered an invasion, then Governor Abbott does, in fact, have the constitutional right to do any and all of the otherwise forbidden things in that paragraph, including defend his state by force of arms.

It’s clear, then, that Governor Abbott didn’t just pull this idea out of thin air; it rests upon a firm and logical constitutional foundation – assuming, of course, it’s reasonable to call what’s happening in Texas an invasion. And that’s something the US Supreme Court may have to decide.

A Question of Supremacy

So, who gets to define the issue? Are hordes of immigrants coming to America in a way that’s perfectly acceptable to the Biden administration’s policies, or is a besieged Texas facing an invasion it must fight off because the federal government simply won’t?

It came to the US Supreme Court justices to decide that question. And, while they didn’t (surprise, surprise), they did issue a short-term ruling on Monday, January 22, that allows the Biden administration to cut the wire. This decision overturned the injunction put in place by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, which forbade federal agents from cutting wire on state or private land, but it is not the answer to the big question. That will, presumably, come later. As Liberty Nation Legal Affairs Editor Scott D. Cosenza, Esq. explained:

“The ruling doesn’t make a final decision on the facts; it is only about what actions are allowed while the case is making its way through the courts …

… Now, the case returns to a hearing on the merits in the district court, presumably an appeal before the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, and another go at the Supreme Court.”

“This is not over,” Governor Abbott declared after the Supreme Court, at least temporarily, took Biden’s side. In fact, with Donald Trump rallying Congress on the border and GOP governors uniting, it may be just the beginning.

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