Image Credit: U.S. Border Patrol / Facebook
By Bethany Blankley [The Center Square contributor] –
The judges and commissioners of five more Texas counties have declared an invasion at the southern border, bringing the total to 27.
Clay, Jack, Hood, Hunt and Montague counties are the latest to declare an invasion.
The judge and commissioners of Clay and Montague counties signed similar resolutions “calling for additional measures to secure the border, stop the invasion at the border, and protect our communities.” They expressed support for Gov. Greg Abbott’s border security mission, Operation Lone Star, and called on him to expand operational authorities available under Article 1, Section 10 of the U.S. Constitution and Article IV, Section 7 of the Texas Constitution.
The judge and commissioners of Jack County signed a declaration of disaster, which also calls “for additional measures to secure the border, stop the invasion at the border and protect our communities.” It cites cartels “exploiting the unsecure border for their own power and profit to the detriment of Texas communities.” The cartels act as “paramilitary, narco-terrorist organizations that profit from trafficking people and drugs.” They also have “operational control over the unsecured U.S./Mexico border and throughout Texas, resulting in known human and drug smuggling cases going through and directly impacting Jack County and all of Texas.”
The resolution also cites Article IV, Section 4 of the U.S. Constitution and Article IV, Section 7 of the Texas Constitution, which states that the governor has the “power to call forth the militia to execute the laws of the state, to suppress insurrections, and to repel invasions.”
The judge and commissioners of Hood County signed a “petition to Texas Governor Greg Abbott to declare invasion at southern border” on Sept. 13. Because of the criminal acts “spearheaded by violent international drug cartels who have paramilitary operational control over our unsecured Texas/U.S./Mexico border,” the resolution states the citizens of Hood County are “under the imminent threat of a disaster resulting from the unprecedented levels of human trafficking, violence and drug smuggling coming across the U.S./Texas border from Mexico, including hostile military or paramilitary action, causing or potentially causing severe damage, injury and/or loss of life or property.”
Hunt County Judge Bobby Stovall signed a disaster declaration Sept. 13 stating the “health, safety and welfare of Hunt County residents are under an imminent threat of disaster from the unprecedented levels of illegal immigration, human trafficking, and drug smuggling across the U.S. border from Mexico. Since January 2021, more than 3.2 million illegal aliens have been apprehended after unlawfully entering the United States. More than 800,000 illegal aliens have avoided apprehension while unlawfully entering the United States and remain unaccounted for within our nation. So far this year, CBP has identified more than 50 known terrorists who have unlawfully entered the United States through our unsecured border with Mexico.”
These and other factors have created “a security threat and humanitarian disaster with overwhelming consequences to the residents of Hunt County and Texans,” and constitute “an invasion of Hunt County, Texas, as the term ‘invasion’ is used in Article IV, Section 4 of the U.S. Constitution and in Article 4, Section 7 of the U.S. Constitution,” he said.
Stovall requests the governor to “act under the constitutional authority granted unto him” under these constitutional provisions “to immediately prevent and/or remove all persons invading the sovereignty of Texas and that of the United States.” The disaster declaration remains effective until he decides otherwise.
So far, confirmed judges and commissioners who’ve signed resolutions in support of Texas declaring an invasion represent the counties of Atascosa, Chambers, Clay, Edwards, Ellis, Goliad, Hardin, Hood, Hunt, Jack, Jasper, Johnson, Kinney, Liberty, Live Oak, Madison, Montague, Orange, Parker, Presidio, Terrell, Throckmorton, Tyler, Van Zandt, Wichita, Wilson, and Wise.
While the judges of Jeff Davis and Rockwall counties have expressed support for declaring an invasion, their county commissioners haven’t signed any resolutions. Uvalde Mayor Don McLaughlin is the only mayor in Texas or the U.S. to declare an invasion.
Both the Republican Party of Texas and the Texas Public Policy Foundation have called for the state of Texas to declare an invasion, citing the same constitutional provisions, arguing cartels and their extensive criminal networks in U.S. cities are threatening the lives of Texans and Americans.
While Abbott hasn’t yet declared an invasion, he’s most recently directed state law enforcement officials to apprehend illegal border crossers and deliver them to ports of entry.
After the first counties declared an invasion July 5, Abbott press secretary Renae Eze told The Center Square that “all strategies remain on the table as Texas continues stepping up in the federal government’s absence.”
Abbott has said he’s done more to secure the southern border than any other governor in Texas or the U.S. He is the only Texas governor to build a wall on Texas soil.
Texas has dedicated more than $4 billion of Texas taxpayer money to state border security efforts through Operation Lone Star. Its combined law enforcement efforts since last March have led to the apprehension of more than 302,600 foreign nationals who illegally entered Texas, made more than 19,700 criminal arrests and 17,200 felony charges. Texas DPS also has seized more than 340.5 million lethal doses of fentanyl.
Texas also has bused more than 10,000 people to the so-called sanctuary cities of Washington, D.C. (7,900), New York City (2,200) and Chicago (360).
About the Author: Bethany Blankley is a writer at the Center Square, Patheos/Hedgerow, political analyst and former press secretary at Capitol Hill / NY / WDC. Follow Bethany on Twitter @BethanyBlankley.