Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, a Republican, on Wednesday accused the federal government of breaching “the compact between the United States and the states” as relates to border security, The Hill reported.
His statement follows a recent Supreme Court ruling that allowed the Border Patrol to cut or remove razor wire installed by Texas along the U.S.-Mexico border.
“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,” Abbott’s statement read.
“President [Joe] Biden has violated his oath to faithfully execute immigration laws enacted by Congress,” the statement read, as well as “instructed his agencies to ignore federal statutes that mandate the detention of illegal immigrants,” reported Mediaite.
“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,” argued Abbott. “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.'”
Abbott has tested constitutional boundaries in state versus federal jurisdiction over border and immigration enforcement for nearly two years. His legal team, led by state Attorney General Ken Paxton, first hinted at formally declaring a border “invasion” in April 2022. Abbott formally declared the invasion in September after writing to Biden in November, invoking the state’s constitutional right to wage war when invaded.
Since then, the governor has systematically increased the border enforcement roles of the Texas Department of Public Safety and the Texas National Guard, emphasizing the constitutional authority for a state to defend itself against invasion.
In his Wednesday statement, Abbott asserted, “That authority is the supreme law of the land and supersedes any federal statutes to the contrary.”
The escalation has led to legal battles surrounding Operation Lone Star, Abbott’s initiative to enhance Texas’ control over immigration enforcement. While the U.S. Supreme Court permitted the removal of Texas-installed razor wire, the order did not address other contentious issues in the strained relationship between federal and state actors.
Earlier this month, Texas officials commandeered a public park on the Rio Grande shores in Eagle Pass, using Texas National Guard troops to block Border Patrol access.
Rep. Joaquin Castro, D-Texas, urged Biden to take over command of the Texas National Guard under President Biden’s command.
Rep. Greg Casar, D-Texas, echoed Castro’s sentiments: “If Abbott defies the Supreme Court, Biden should take sole control of the Guard.”
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