Governor Abbott's new Executive Order(EO) on the border disaster falls short of meaningful action. However, the good news is he seems to be pointedly responding to pressure from local elected officials who declared the border invasion to be a disaster. He has acknowledged an invasion, and it will be difficult for him to back peddle—especially in an election year.
Abbott accurately and precisely states many of the challenges at hand. He describes cartels that control the border, endangering lives. He then ties cartel activity to Biden's negligent open border policies. He describes individuals on the terrorist watchlist who have crossed the border and establishes violations of sovereignty and territorial integrity in the State of Texas. He clarifies that Title 42 and the termination of Trump's Remain-in-Mexico policy "will result in as many as 18,000 immigrant apprehensions per day." A state border beleaguered with criminal apprehensions and seizures of hundreds of millions of lethal doses of fentanyl, Abbott acknowledges Biden's "reckless refusal to secure the border." This results in "material support to the cartels, allow[ing] them to smuggle more dangerous people, drugs, and weapons into Texas, and embolden[ing] cartel gunmen to continue shooting at state and federal officials."
The Governor then, very importantly, quotes Biden's failure to execute immigration laws enacted by Congress, invoking the very Articles mentioned by the local officials in the Jul. 5 press conference in Brackettville. He also cites the Texas Disaster Act of 1975 and the Texas Constitution—the part that allows the Governor to call on state military forces to enforce the law. This is a first.
Executive Order July 7/Governor Abbott
Finally, he acknowledges that the act of unlawfully entering the United States is a federal crime, a valid attribute the Biden administration has never once acknowledged. Despite its shortcomings, Abbott's EO will make it much more difficult for the Governor to argue his state is anything but being invaded. That is the good news.
However, Governor Abbott is no Ron DeSantis. He always seems to fall short of the strongest measures. At the very end of his EO, he seems to give himself a mealy-mouthed out that removes the teeth from the order. He states that the Texas National Guard and the Texas Department of Public Safety are empowered to "return those illegal immigrants to the border at a port of entry." This is effectively what has already been happening at the border in many cases. He does not say to return them to Mexico or walk them across the border. He says to return them to a port of entry. That is essentially what has come to be known as catch and release.
Jonathon Turley's opinion on what the founding fathers meant by invasion is poorly considered. I am no legal scholar nor an expert in Constitutional text. However, invasion does not just mean "a foreign army," as Turley describes it. I believe it is closer to what Chip Roy (R-TX21) states below in his Tweet. Turley's explanation simply interprets what the founding fathers intended it to mean.
The Jan. 10 Executive Statement from Russ Vought with the Center for Renewing America cites Supreme Court precedent, Articles of the Constitution, and the Federalist Papers to prove that the Guarantee Against Invasion did not only mean invasion to be "an organized foreign army." I invite you to read the statement in full. It is informative and well-grounded in reason.
Russ Vought/Executive Summary/Center for Renewing America/Jan. 10, 2022
Abbott faces some critical choices in what is an election season for him. He is running for re-election in a state that has been hammered by massive invasions of illegal aliens wreaking havoc on local communities. America First candidates like Mayra Flores are showing Texans that the bluest of blue districts like the 34th will come out and vote for a candidate—who ran on family values and dangerous border policies— and can win a special election. We will see how she does in November.
With over 65 percent of Hispanics wanting a closed border, Abbott would do well to listen. Mexicans are the largest ethnic group in the state, "representing 83% (9.5 million) of the population and the latest population projections show the projected growth rate for the Hispanic population from 2020 to 2050 to be 71%." Hispanics who have worked hard and waiting to be here legally are decreasingly enthusiastic over policies that impact their jobs and threaten their families. Let's hope he adopts a sturdier response to the real and present danger these invasions pose to Texans.