Gov. Greg Abbott calls immigration from Mexico an ‘invasion,’ invokes Invasion Clause
AUSTIN, Texas -- Governor Greg Abbott says he has invoked the Invasion Clauses of the U.S. and Texas Constitutions in a new executive order to fight back what he calls an invasion at the Texas-Mexico border.
The governor sent a letter to county judges along the Texas-Mexico border to "assure" them the state was taking unprecedented actions to combat the border crisis.
Those actions include:
- Deploy the National Guard to safeguard our border and to repel and turn back immigrants trying to cross the border illegally;
- Deploy the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) to arrest and return to the border immigrants who crossed illegally and deploy DPS to arrest illegal immigrants for criminal activity;
- Build a border wall in multiple counties on the border;
- Deploy gun boats to secure the border;
- Designate Mexican drug cartels as foreign terrorist organizations;
- Enter into a compact with other states to secure the border;
- Enter into agreements with foreign powers to enhance border security; and
- Provide resources for border counties to increase their efforts to respond to the border invasion
Abbott accused President Joe Biden of abandoning his responsibilities of enforcing immigration laws as the southwest border experiences the highest number of migrant encounters in history.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection data from fiscal year 2022 shows that agents encountered more than 2.7 million migrants. In fiscal year 2019, the last full year under President Donald Trump that was not impacted by Covid-19, data shows there were more than 1.1 million encounters at the southwest border.
There have already been more than 204,000 migrant encounters at the border, according to the fiscal year 2023 data which started in October. The El Paso sector saw 53,284 encounters in the month of October.
During a Texas Senate Border Security committee meeting on Tuesday morning, multiple members of the committee said they did not know the Governor was going to take this action.
Governor Abbott started Operation Lone Star in March of 2021 to respond to a surge of migrant crossings, sending Texas National Guard members to the border.
In April this year, Abbott started enforcing the Department of Public Safety to inspect all trucks entering through ports of entry. Those inspections created bottlenecks at the ports, and truckers in Mexico protested the measures by stopping the flow of traffic northbound.