Texas Governor Greg Abbott issued a forceful statement on Wednesday asserting Texas’ constitutional right to self-defense. The move comes as a direct response to what Abbott described as Joe Biden’s failure to secure the U.S.-Mexico border and enforce federal immigration laws.
Governor Abbott’s statement highlighted the federal government’s alleged breach of its constitutional duties, accusing President Biden of violating immigration laws and neglecting his responsibilities. “President Biden has refused to enforce those laws and has even violated them, leading to record numbers in illegal immigration,” Abbott stated. He cited over 6 million illegal border crossings in the past three years, which he says have caused unprecedented harm nationwide.
Abbott’s announcement follows recent actions by the Texas National Guard to install razor wire along parts of the Texas-Mexico border, defying a Supreme Court ruling. Despite the court siding with the Biden administration in removing the wire, Texas forces proceeded with the installation in Eagle Pass, Texas.
“President Biden has violated his oath to faithfully execute immigration laws enacted by Congress,” Abbott wrote on Wednesday. “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.”
My statement on Texas’ constitutional right to self-defense. pic.twitter.com/seNFZdmujP
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) January 24, 2024
“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,” the Texas Governor continued.
Earlier in the week, Rep. Clay Higgins (R-TX) urged Texas to “stand their ground.” Critics, however, viewed these developments as potentially inciting a civil conflict.
The razor wire installation is part of Governor Abbott’s Operation Lone Star, initiated to curb illegal immigration. The operation also included busing migrants to Democratic-led cities and arresting migrants on trespassing charges. The Biden administration has opposed these measures, arguing that they hinder federal agents and contravene federal laws.
The Supreme Court’s narrow 5-4 decision against the wire installation underscores the complex dynamics of federal-state relations.
In contrast to Biden’s approach of reversing strict immigration policies of the previous administration, Abbott has launched state-level initiatives, including deploying state law enforcement and continuing the construction of a border wall in Texas.
The escalating tensions have led to several legal confrontations between Texas and the Biden administration. Governor Abbott has consistently criticized the federal government for neglecting border security and exacerbating a humanitarian crisis. Meanwhile, Biden and his officials have condemned Texas’ unilateral actions, suggesting they undermine federal immigration policy.
“We are using every tool that can be used, from building a border wall to building these border barriers to passing this law that I signed that led to another lawsuit by the Biden administration where I signed a law making it illegal for somebody to enter Texas from another country,” Abbott said in early January.
“And so– and they’re subject to arrest and subject to deportation. And so, we are deploying every tool and strategy that we possibly can. The only thing that we’re not doing is we’re not shooting people who come across the border because, of course, the Biden administration would charge us with murder.”