National Guard soldiers stand guard near the U.S.-Mexico border in Del Rio. Credit: Miguel Gutierrez Jr./The Texas Tribune
National Guard soldiers stand guard near the U.S.-Mexico border in Del Rio. Credit: Miguel Gutierrez Jr./The Texas Tribune

With the Biden administration refusing to address the problems at the Southern border, Texas Governor Greg Abbott is taking the problems into his own hands.  

On July 7th, Abbott issued an executive order authorizing the Texas Department of Public Safety and the National Guard to arrest illegal aliens entering the state illegally. Under Abbott’s order, the detained migrants will be transported to ports of entry along the Southern border where they can attempt to enter the country legally.  

Abbott’s executive order is certainly warranted, but it may be out of the scope of his powers as Governor of Texas. According to federal law, U.S. immigration law can only be enforced by federal officials. Therefore, the Biden administration is likely to engage in a legal battle with Abbott, claiming it is illegal to use Texas officials to control illegal immigration. 

While the Biden administration may win this legal battle, it wouldn’t necessarily be a political victory for the President. If Biden successfully stops Abbott, he will be viewed not only as inept in controlling the Southern border crisis but also as standing in the way of anyone who is willing to take action.  

Governor Abbott justified his executive order in the following way:  

While President Biden refuses to do his job and enforce the immigration laws enacted by Congress, the State of Texas is once again stepping up and taking unprecedented action to protect Americans and secure our southern border. The cartels have become emboldened and enriched by President Biden’s open border policies, smuggling in record numbers of people, weapons, and deadly drugs like fentanyl.

Abbott’s reasoning is correct, under the Biden administration the U.S. Southern border has been extremely porous. In just the first year of the Biden administration, the number of illegal immigrants in the U.S. has increased from 14.5 million to 15.5 million according to the Federation for American Immigration Reform. Illegal immigration also brings with it the flow of drugs, particularly Fentanyl.

It is not a coincidence that the rapid increase in illegal immigration has coincided with a massive increase in deaths from Fentanyl overdoses. According to the CDC, Fentanyl is now the leading cause of death for Americans between the ages of 18 to 45.  

In anticipation for the coming legal battle with the Biden administration, Abbott has also addressed the legality of his executive order.  

The Governor of Texas believes he is obligated to secure the Southern border because President Biden has abandoned his obligations under Article IV, § 4 of the U.S. Constitution. Article IV, § 4 mandates that the U.S. federal government must protect each State of the Union against invasion.

Since Texas is being effectively invaded by illegal aliens and the federal government is refusing to take action, in Abbott’s view it is now his responsibility to secure the border. 

It is unclear how effective Abbott’s executive order concerning illegal immigration will be, but it is a step in the right direction. If the Biden administration does take Abbott to court, it will certainly be a political disaster for the Democratic party, who will be perceived as promoting illegal immigration.  

Dave Brown is the Co-Founder of The Great American Syndicate. Follow him on Instagram at @davebrownlive

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