Red States Hit Biden Admin With New Legal Brief Backing Texas’ Actions To Secure The Border
EAGLE PASS, TEXAS - SEPTEMBER 11: Migrants help each other through barbed-wire fencing after crossing the Rio Grande river near the buoy barriers on September 11, 2023 in Eagle Pass, Texas. The Court of Appeals have temporarily halted removal of the floating buoy barriers located in the river. The buoys have sparked controversy and tension amongst the United States and Mexico as claims of violating human rights have reached congress. The Department of Justice has filed a lawsuit against the state of Texas as Gov. Greg Abbott has vowed “to take this fight all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.”
Credit: Photo by Brandon Bell/Getty Images.

A group of red states filed a legal brief in support of Texas Governor Greg Abbot (R-TX) on Friday amid his battle with the Biden administration to keep buoys intended to deter illegal immigration in a portion of the Rio Grande. 

Led by Kansas Attorney General Kris Kobach, more than 20 Republican attorneys general filed an amicus brief to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals backing Abbott’s bid to keep the barrier in the river. Abbott was sued by the Biden administration last year over the barriers and a federal judge ruled in favor of the federal government. Texas was able to  appeal and will be able to keep the barrier in while the case plays out at the appeals level. 

The brief says that the Biden administration has not done its job to protect the border and that Texas has a right to defend itself.

“The Constitution  guarantees the States’ right to self-defense expressly and as a natural  incident of the States’ status as sovereign entities,” a copy of the brief obtained by The Daily Wire said. “Here, however, the  federal government has sought to disable Texas’s exercise of that right  by claiming that it violates a federal law focused on the navigability of  the nation’s waterways, a law that does not expressly limit the States’  ability to engage in self-defense.”

The attorneys general go on to rip into the Biden administration for its policies at the border. 

“The current administration has not only failed to secure the border, but also has willfully enacted policies that have encouraged illegal immigration. The result: millions of illegal aliens crossing the southern border and continuing into the interior,” they wrote. “A flood of illegal immigration across the Southern  border that has brought with it crime, human trafficking, and hundreds  of thousands of fentanyl deaths to the people of this country. In both  scope and effect, the wave of illegal migrants pouring across the border  is like an invasion.”

In addition to Kansas, the states who signed onto the brief included Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, West Virginia, Wyoming, and Virginia.

The brief argues that the court should allow Texas to keep the barrier in the Rio Grande because states have a constitutional right to self defense and that the Rivers and Harbors Act does not limit Texas’s ability to defend itself. The Biden administration has argued that the Rivers and Harbors Act prohibits Texas from putting any barriers in the Rio Grande. 

Tennessee Attorney General Jonathan Skrmetti told The Daily Wire that the Volunteer State had helped file the brief because the state was being impacted by the border crisis. He said the case was an urgent policy matter as well as fundamentally being about constitutional principles. 


“It’s not just important because immigration is important, we obviously have a real problem with illegal immigration right now, just the scale and the volume of people coming in and the inability of our existing institutions to deal with that,” Skrmetti said. “But separately this is an important matter of state sovereignty. We have a constitutional system that has both the federal government and the state governments as sovereign governments. And if a state’s not able to defend itself then it loses a key part of that sovereignty.” 

Skrmetti pointed out that state’s have a right to protect themselves from invasion, saying that unrestricted migration was “functionally an invasion” and could have detrimental effects on the country. 

“The federal government has abdicated its responsibility,” he said. “The Constitution is not a suicide pact and the states have a right and an obligation to engage in self-defense.” 

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The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  Red States Hit Biden Admin With New Legal Brief Backing Texas’ Actions To Secure The Border