McALLEN, Texas (Border Report) — Texas Gov. Greg Abbott on Wednesday sent a letter to President Joe Biden saying the state is increasing its border security initiatives along the Mexican border to fight a migrant “invasion.”
“The federal government’s failure has forced me to invoke Article I, § 10, Clause 3 of the U.S. Constitution, thereby enabling the State of Texas to protect its own territory against invasion by the Mexican drug cartels,” Abbott wrote to Biden.
Abbott’s warnings to Biden that this “inaction has led to catastrophic consequences,” came the same day he ordered two state agencies to ratchet up security initiatives as part of Operation Lone Star.
In letters sent Wednesday to Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steve McCraw and Texas Military Department Adjutant General Thomas Suelzer, Abbott ordered National Guard troops and DPS troopers to use whatever means necessary to control the southern border as part of Operation Lone Star.
“I order you to use all resources and tools available to repel immigrants from attempting to cross illegally, arrest those who cross illegally and return them to the border, and arrest criminals who violate Texas law,” Abbott wrote.
Despite pre-election vows that the state would ratchet down border security initiatives if Republicans swept Congress, Abbott has in fact done the opposite this week.
On Monday, Abbott also sent letters to county judges in Texas explaining why he invoked the state’s Invasion Clause relating to the rising number of asylum-seekers who are crossing from Mexico illegally into the United States.
“Just two years ago, we had the fewest illegal crossings in decades. This past year under President Biden, an all-time record was set for the number of immigrants crossing the border illegally,” Abbott wrote Monday in letters sent to several county judges.
Over 2.7 million migrants were encountered by law enforcement on the southern border in Fiscal Year 2022, that’s up 41% from 1.9 million encounters in Fiscal 2021, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
By invoking the invasion clause, Abbott said he has “fully authorize(d) Texas to take unprecedented measures to fight back against the invasion at our border.”
In the letters to McCraw and Suelzer and the judges, Abbott touts:
- The deployment of National Guard troops “to safeguard our border and to repel and turn back immigrants trying to cross the border illegally.”
- The building of a state-funded border wall in Starr County.
- The designation of Mexican drug cartels as foreign terrorist organizations.
- Agreements with other U.S. states regarding border security.
- Agreements with other foreign powers to secure the southern border.
- Resources for border counties “to increase their efforts to respond to the invasion.”
Abbott, a Republican, last week won re-election to a third term and has signaled quickly his intent to beef up border forces that are deployed as part of Operation Lone Star.
Before the election, he indicated that if Republicans swept Congress and enacted meaningful immigration policy changes that he would decrease the amount of border security operations Texas has engaged on its southern border.
Texas has already spent over $4 billion in state funds as part of this initiative that Abbott started in March 2021 just after President Joe Biden took office.
Abbott on Wednesday asked McCraw and Suelzer to send “urgent messages to Congress reminding them it is the federal government’s responsibility to secure the border and to provide resources to do so.”
On Monday he asked the judges to also rally congressional support for more border stringent policies. And he said the Congress “should reimburse the State of Texas for the billions of dollars we have had to spend on border security n the Biden Administration’s absence.”
Abbott also called for “hearings and even impeachment” for federal officials “who will not faithfully execute the immigration laws.”