(Central Plaza) – At least 42 counties have declared an invasion or expressed support for Texas announcing an invasion on the southern border.
Others are making similar claims, according to people who spoke to The Center Square.
Harrison County Commissioners and Judge Chad Sims signed a resolution Dec. 20 expressing support for “our Texas County partners” expressing support for border counties “experiencing local natural disasters as a result of inadequate border security.”
They also cited Article IV, Section 7 of the Texas Constitution, which empowers the governor to “convoke the militia to enforce the laws of the state, quell insurrections, and repel incursions.” Their resolution describes the Mexican cartels as “military narco-terrorist organizations profiting from human and drug trafficking in the United States” that pose a security threat and a humanitarian catastrophe “with enormous consequences for the people of Texas.”
They also expressed support for Gov. Greg Abbott expanding his border security mission, Operation Lone Star, to deal with the crisis caused by the federal government’s failure to meet its constitutional duty to “provide domestic calm” and “provide common defence,” according to the resolution.
Franklin County Judge Scott Lee signed the resolution on October 24, “calling for additional border security measures to stop the invasion of our southern border to protect the communities of Texas,” also citing the invasion clauses of the U.S. and Texas constitutions granting the governor the power to protect the Texas border. Its resolution states that “transnational drug cartels… have effectively seized operational control between points of entry on the southern border of Texas, facilitating mass human smuggling, human trafficking, operations, trade in deadly drugs, including fentanyl,” among other illegal activities.
But his resolution appears to be the only one considered by The Center Square that specifically calls for the governor, the attorney general and the state legislature to take action.
Lee urges “the Governor of Texas to make a formal declaration of the invasion, thereby invoking state authority under the invasion clause of the U.S. Constitution, Article 1, Section 10, Clause 3.”
He also urges the Governor “as Commander-in-Chief of the Texas National Guard” to engage and deploy it and other state assets “to apprehend and bring illegals back across the border, stop illegal aliens crossing the border from Mexico to the border, and protect Texas from cartel operatives, human traffickers and traffickers who deliver lethal fentanyl to cities and communities in Texas.”
Scott also urged “the Attorney General of Texas to prepare immediate briefs to counter the federal government’s attempts to prevent Texas from protecting its southern border” and the Texas legislature “to pass legislation that actively serves as a deterrent to illegal migration.” Texas legislators must enact laws that protect Texas communities with a citizen-protection agenda that sends a strong message to all cartel members, illegals, and the federal government.”
Although Abbott cited the invasion clauses in his November 14 letter letter district judges and on November 16 letter President Joe Biden has yet to formally announce an invasion or announce a military strategy to repel it.
Two days after Judges of Kinney, Goliad and Terrell Counties first announced the invasion on July 5, 2022, Abbott issued order directing the heads of the Texas War Department and the Department of Public Safety to detain illegal foreign nationals and return them to ports of entry, actions they are already taking. Unless detainees are arrested for state crimes and placed in county or government custody, the government’s policy of handing them over to border guard agents has not changed.
Under the policy of the Biden administration, most of those detained by Border Patrol agents are released to the US, prompting Florida to file a lawsuit in a case currently pending in federal court.
After being re-elected in November, Gov. Abbot sent letters to county judges citing his July 7 executive order and posted the contents of the letter on Twitter, prompting many news outlets to misreport that he declared an invasion.
Since last July, judges and commissioners who have signed resolutions or issued invasion declarations have represented the districts of Atascosa, Burnet, Chambers, Clay, Collin, Hector, Edwards, Ellis, Fannin, Franklin, Goliad, Hamilton, Hardin, Harrison, Hood, Hunt, Jack, Jasper, Johnson, Kinney, Lavaca, Leon, Liberty, Live Oak, Madison, McMullen, Montague, Navarro, Orange, Parker, Presidio, Shackelford, Somervell, Terrell, Throckmorton, Tyler, Van Zandt, Waller, Wharton, Wichita, Wilson and Wise.
Some passed resolutions supporting border security. Some judges issued distress statements in which they declared an invasion of their county or Texas. Some disaster announcements, such as those issued by Ector and Rockwall counties, were only valid for seven days. Hector has been amended to have no expiration date; Rockwall is overdue.
County Judge Jeff Davis was one of the first to express support for the invasion announcement, but his commissioners did not. Uvalde Mayor Don McLaughlin is the only Texas or US mayor to declare an invasion.
The Texas Republican Party also urged the governor to announce an invasion; The Texas Public Policy Foundation expressed support for Texas’ announcement of an invasion.
They did so as nearly 1.8 million people from more than 150 countries were detained or reported evading capture by Border Patrol agents in FY 2022 alone, the largest number in the state’s history. Through the OLS, Texas law enforcement seized enough fentanyl to kill everyone in the US.