In a move certain to run afoul of the Biden administration’s lax immigration policies, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott on Thursday ordered the National Guard and state police to return migrants to the Mexican border.
Abbott said in a statement that his state is forced to step up and “protect Americans and secure our southern border.”
The numbers are staggering. In the 2021 fiscal year, encounters between Border Patrol agents and migrants soared to 1.7 million, a 77% increase over 2019. So far this fiscal year the encounters are up another 73% and have already surpassed 2019.
There’s a remarkable correlation between this unprecedented surge across the border and the changing of occupants of the White House.
Independence Day weekend saw 5,000 migrant apprehensions in Texas alone.
Earlier this week, six Texas counties and one city declared the border situation an “invasion” The move came in response to what officials said are the unobstructed crossings by thousands of migrants, which results in property damage and safety issues.
Former Virginia Attorney General and Department of Homeland Safety official Ken Cuccinelli said it’s the first time in the nation’s history that a judge has legally found the U.S. to be invaded.
He further believes that, in the writing of the Constitution, states reserved the right to defend themselves if being invaded, though “waging war” is a federal responsibility.
For his part, Gov. Abbott has been reluctant to invoke “invasion” powers that some believe are in his grasp. The Republican expressed concern that Texas law enforcement officials may face federal prosecution if he takes that measure.
The U.S. Supreme Court recently ruled that the Trump administration’s “Remain in Mexico” policy can be mothballed by the White House. There is also a move to revoke Title 42 restrictions, enacted at the height of the pandemic to quickly return illegal migrants across the border.
Immigration is the direct responsibility of the federal government, but the unchecked deluge of migrants is devastating the nation’s southern border. The White House can hardly complain when governors and local officials move to protect themselves in the face of federal dereliction of duty.