“The federal government has broken the compact between the United States and the States,” wrote Texas Gov. Greg Abbott in a Jan. 24 statement. “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. President Biden has refused to enforce those laws and has even violated them.”
Abbott’s statement “On Texas’ Constitutional Right to Self-Defense,” follows the Supreme Court decision that vacated an injunction against federal action against Texas property. Texas had taken to erecting barriers along the border, which the federal government has repeatedly either removed or demanded that Texas remove them.
Governor Abbott details several ways that he says the Biden administration has failed, including actions against Texas efforts to secure the border, directing federal agencies to ignore statutory requirements regarding illegal immigrants, and effectively encouraging an estimated 6 million illegal immigrants during the three years of Biden’s term.
He cites the Constitution: “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.’”
“The failure of the Biden Administration to fulfill the duties imposed by Article IV, § 4 has triggered Article I, § 10, Clause 3, which reserves to this State the right of self-defense,” the Texas governor writes.
Throwing a direct challenge to Washington, he concludes: “For these reasons, I have already declared an invasion under Article I, § 10, Clause 3 to invoke Texas’s constitutional authority to defend and protect itself. That authority is the supreme law of the land and supersedes any federal statutes to the contrary. The Texas National Guard, the Texas Department of Public Safety, and other Texas personnel are acting on that authority, as well as state law, to secure the Texas border.”
The language of “invasion” is cited as the basis for overcoming the restriction of Article 1, § 10 that no individual state can be involved in foreign affairs “unless actually invaded, or in such imminent Danger as will not admit or delay.”
Support has come in from the governors of numerous states, as of this writing—Florida, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Montana, Virginia, Georgia, and Utah—as well as from the Speaker of the House. Later reports are that 25 governors have expressed their support.
The solution to the problem manifesting itself here, is a change in world policy, a new paradigm of international economics and political relations, not a showdown between state and federal power in the United States. Creating such a showdown, which would be enormously destructive of U.S. government, may, indeed, be among the intentions of those promoting the immigration crisis.