Greg Abbott Fights Biden, Enforces The Border. He’s Right, And It’s Not Illegal.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott speaks at a news conference in the state Capitol on June 08, 2023 in Austin, Texas.
Photo by Brandon Bell/Getty Images

On Wednesday, Governor Greg Abbott of Texas issued a letter announcing that the state of Texas was going to start enforcing the border. They’ve been doing this for a while. Yet the federal government has objected to the fencing they put in the middle of the Rio Grande barriers.

So Abbott issued a historic letter in the face of a constitutional crisis that has been created entirely by Joe Biden and his evil activities on the border. 

It is evil not to enforce the border of your country, to purposefully leave the border wide open, which is what Biden has done.

I’ve been down to the border. It is, indeed, wide open, and that facilitates the incentivization of drug cartels to pour millions of people into the United States and move tons of fentanyl across the southern border, the cause of over 100,000 American deaths a year.

This is Biden abandoning his constitutional duties and abdicating the presidency of the United States. It is evil for the president of the United States to do such. The equivalent would be if a mayor of a large city simply announced they are not going to police crime anymore. The fundamental duty of the federal government is to protect the people and the borders of the United States of America.

It is a federally mandated duty for the government of the United States to do that. It is a federal issue — not a state issue. Biden has not only signally failed, but he has also done the opposite of good. He has facilitated all of this — with terrible border policy. It is wrong. It should be against the law. The federal government has one job and one job only in the end: to protect you, to protect your rights. 

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Laws preventing illegal immigration have been in place for decades in the United States. It is up to the president of the United States to enforce those laws. Again, it is worth noting that leaving the border wide open is not just incentivizing Mexican drug cartels to move millions of people across the southern border, but it is also incentivizing them to move tons of fentanyl across the southern border, which is effectively killing 100,000 Americans a year.

Biden has turned Border Patrol into a ferry service for illegal immigration. Members of Border Patrol will openly say that is what they are now. Their job used to be to track down people who were illegally crossing the border so they could be detained and then deported. Now, their job is to act as a facilitation service for illegal entry into the country.

The first part of Greg Abbott’s letter reads

The federal government has broken the compact between the United States and the States. The Executive Branch of the United States has a constitutional duty to enforce federal laws protecting States, including immigration laws on the books right now. President Biden has refused to enforce those laws and has even violated them. The result is that he has smashed records for illegal immigration. 

Despite having been put on notice in a series of letters—one of which I delivered to him by hand—President Biden has ignored Texas’s demand that he perform his constitutional duties. 

  • President Biden has violated his oath to faithfully execute immigration laws enacted by Congress. Instead of prosecuting immigrants for the federal crime of illegal entry, President Biden has sent his lawyers into federal courts to sue Texas for taking action to secure the border. 
  • President Biden has instructed his agencies to ignore federal statutes that mandate the detention of illegal immigrants. The effect is to illegally allow their en masse parole into the United States. 
  • By wasting taxpayer dollars to tear open Texas’s border security infrastructure, President Biden has enticed illegal immigrants away from the 28 legal entry points along this State’s southern border—bridges where nobody drowns—and into the dangerous waters of the Rio Grande. 

That is true. Drug cartels don’t actually want illegal immigrants processed at these stations. Rather, they want to flood certain border points so as to draw the Border Patrol to those areas where it is their duty to care for the illegal immigrants entering the country and claiming asylum.

If you take all the people spaced along the border, with very few border patrol agents trying to maintain eyes on miles of the border, and then you suddenly centralize the agents at one point where the illegal immigrants are rushing across, that leaves the rest of the border wide open. And that’s where you get drug smugglers being shifted across by the drug cartels.

Abbott continues:

This illegal refusal to protect the States has inflicted unprecedented harm on the People all across the United States. 

James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, and the other visionaries who wrote the U.S. Constitution foresaw that States should not be left to the mercy of a lawless president who does nothing to stop external threats like cartels smuggling millions of illegal immigrants across the border.

That is why the Framers included both Article IV, § 4, which promises that the federal government “shall protect each [State] against invasion,” and Article I, § 10, Clause 3, which acknowledges “the States’ sovereign interest in protecting their borders.” … 

The failure of the Biden Administration to fulfill the duties imposed by Article IV, § 4 has triggered Article I, § 10, Clause 3, which reserves to this State the right of self-defense.  For these reasons, I have already declared an invasion under Article I, § 10, Clause 3 to invoke Texas’s constitutional authority to defend and protect itself.  That authority is the supreme law of the land and supersedes any federal statutes to the contrary.   

Abbott has done nothing to violate the law thus far. Nothing. He has not violated federal law. 

People are accusing him of having done so because he had Texas state troopers put out razor wire in state parks; those people don’t know what they’re talking about. The Supreme Court ruled recently that the federal government has the capacity to withdraw the razor wire, but they said nothing about whether the state of Texas is allowed to put up the razor wire. The Supreme Court did not rule that it was illegal for the state of Texas to, for example, put barriers in the Rio Grande. They just ruled that the federal government is allowed to remove those barriers.

Anyone who says Texas is doing something illegal is incorrect.

Here’s the deeper issue: whether the state of Texas can unilaterally enforce immigration law, even if the federal government wants them not to.

In 2010, the state of Arizona passed a law called SB 1070. The law contained four provisions. 

  • The first provision was that it created a state level crime for being unlawfully present in the United States. You would be prosecuted by the federal government and deported. It would be a state law crime. 
  • Second, it created a state law crime for working or seeking to work when you weren’t authorized to do so. It’s a federal crime for people to use a false Social Security number, for example, to work illegally in the United States. This created a comparative state law crime based on that. 
  • Third, it required state and local officers to verify the citizenship or alien status of anyone who was lawfully arrested or detained, an anti-sanctuary city policy. If you were a cop and you pulled somebody over, you would have to check whether they were legally here or not. 
  • And fourth, the law authorized warrantless arrests of aliens believed to be removable from the United States. So you could just arrest people and then presumably you would turn them over to the federal government.

The question on the table was whether federal preemption prevented those laws from taking effect. When a state law comes into conflict with the federal law, the state law loses. The federal law — federal preemption — is actually a little bit broader in that it says a federal law takes up a certain portion of the law. If it occupies that portion of the law, the state laws cannot come into conflict with it.

So the court in the Arizona case found items one, two, and four were in violation of the Constitution. Justice Scalia dissented, saying, “Today’s opinion, approving virtually all of the Ninth Circuit’s injunction against enforcement of the four challenged provisions of Arizona’s law, deprives States of what most would consider the defining characteristic of sovereignty: the power to exclude from the sovereign’s territory people who have no right to be there. … The naturalization power was given to Congress not to abrogate States’ power to exclude those they did not want, but to vindicate it.”

He was referring to the original reason immigration law was given to the federal government: Everybody at the beginning of the Republic was very much afraid of what has happened in the EU — where one country has open immigration policies, another says they don’t want all these immigrants coming into their country, but the EU says they must accept them.


So the federal government took control of this to make homogenous immigration law around the United States, where there would be freedom of travel and freedom of residency. But in order for that bargain to be upheld, the federal government actually does have to police the border.

That’s particularly true when laws on the books say the border must be policed. It would be one thing if the federal government had passed laws saying we basically have open immigration at this time, because presumably those federal laws would have been part of a Constitution that was signed on to by the states. But it is another thing for the federal government to have laws on the books requiring policing the border and removing illegal immigrants, but the executive branch says, “No, we’re not going to do it because now you’ve abrogated the compact.”

Scalia said in that case, in the dissent, the reason the entire issue was federalized was to prevent open migration to one state from affecting all the states.

That’s basically what Greg Abbott is arguing in this letter. And he’s right.

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