Republican governors across the country are rallying behind Texas Governor Greg Abbott as he stares down the Biden administration’s attempts to strip Texas Rangers of their power to detain and deport illegal migrants.
In statements of support, state-level leaders like Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem vowed to send resources to support Abbott’s battle at the southern border. The Texas governor has been livid over President Joe Biden’s inability to stem the tide of illegal crossings that have reached historic numbers in recent months.
“If the Constitution really made states powerless to defend themselves against an invasion, it wouldn’t have been ratified in the first place and Texas would have never joined the union when it did,” DeSantis wrote on social media, according to Fox News. “TX is upholding the law while Biden is flouting it. FL will keep assisting Texas with personnel and assets.”
If the Constitution really made states powerless to defend themselves against an invasion, it wouldn’t have been ratified in the first place and Texas would have never joined the union when it did.
TX is upholding the law while Biden is flouting it.
FL will keep assisting… https://t.co/qOJY2zT1hG
— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) January 24, 2024
Gov. Noem, an ally of former President Donald Trump who is on his short list for a vice presidential pick, echoed DeSantis’ assessment.
“[Abbott] is exactly right to invoke Texas’ constitutional authority to defend itself. The Biden Administration has created a national security crisis and put Americans in danger. Their failure is an unconstitutional dereliction of duty,” she asserted.
I hope Texas law allows law enforcement and public safety officials to use all legal methods up to and including necessary force to stop people from crossing the border illegally. It only takes one or two to send a message that illegal activity will not be tolerated.
— Kristi Noem (@KristiNoem) January 24, 2024
Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt also added online that he “stands with Texas.”
Oklahoma stands with Texas. https://t.co/67VzVEfEv1
— Governor Kevin Stitt (@GovStitt) January 24, 2024
“The federal government’s failure to secure our nation’s southern border is jeopardizing the safety of all Americans. Tennessee has always stood with Texas, and we always will,” Governor Bill Lee (R-TN) wrote Thursday morning.
The federal government’s failure to secure our nation’s southern border is jeopardizing the safety of all Americans. Tennessee has always stood with Texas, and we always will.
— Gov. Bill Lee (@GovBillLee) January 25, 2024
Gov. Abbott has mobilized the Texas National Guard in defiance of orders by the Biden administration to stand down and let federal authorities handle the matter. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas has threatened Abbott with legal action over Texas’ seizure of Shelby Park near Eagle Pass, a notorious port of crossing. The Lone Star state countersued after feds cut razor wire set up to deter crossings along the Rio Grande.
“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,” Abbott said. “President Biden has refused to enforce those laws and has even violated them.”
“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.”
Despite their unwillingness to budge on deportations, Democrats have accused Gov. Abbott of inflating the surge with his actions by modeling former President Donald Trump.
“Greg Abbott has continued to use political stunts and inflammatory language to advance his own agenda, violating the Constitution and endangering both U.S. citizens and asylum seekers,” Rep. Greg Casar (D-TX) posted on X. “Abbott is following the Donald Trump playbook: making immigration harder and more dangerous, so asylum seekers are pushed into the hands of cartels and the system remains broken.”
Former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-TX) accused Abbott of defying a U.S. Supreme Court decision granting DHS sole control of border matters.
“When Gov. Orval Eugene Faubus did this in 1957, [President] Eisenhower federalized the Arkansas Guard to ensure compliance with the law,” O’Rourke tweeted. “Biden must follow this example of bold, decisive leadership to end this crisis before it gets worse.”
“If Abbott is defying yesterday’s Supreme Court ruling, [Biden] needs to establish sole federal control of the Texas National Guard now,” Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-TX) added.
House Republicans are expected to impeach Secretary Mayorkas in the coming days, citing a dereliction of duty on constitutional grounds.