Gov. Greg Abbott declares formal invasion underway at Texas-Mexico border

The freshly reelected governor invoked state and federal laws while outlining new plans to police the border.

Gov. Greg Abbott announced Monday that he has invoked the Invasion Clauses of the U.S. and and Texas Constitutions to formally declare immigration from Mexico as an invasion.

Gov. Greg Abbott announced Monday that he has invoked the Invasion Clauses of the U.S. and and Texas Constitutions to formally declare immigration from Mexico as an invasion.

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Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has invoked the Invasion Clauses of the U.S. and Texas Constitutions to formally declare illegal immigration at the state's Mexico border an invasion. In a letter sent out Monday, Abbott notified county judges along the Texas-Mexico border that he will "fully authorize Texas to take unprecedented measures to defend our state against an invasion." The recently reelected governor also shared portions of the letter on Twitter Tuesday morning. 

In the letter, Abbott outlined steps that will be taken by the state under his constitutional authority to "keep the state and country safe," which include deploying the National Guard and Texas Department of Public Safety to arrest and turn away immigrants crossing the U.S.-Mexico border, building a border wall along counties on the border, deploying gun boats to secure the border, entering agreements with other U.S. states and foreign powers to enhance border security, and providing resources for border counties to increase their efforts to respond to the border "invasion." 

"In January 2023 when the next Congress is sworn in, we must remind our representatives in Washington that securing the border is the federal government’s responsibility," the document read. In the letter, Abbott also called for Congress to reimburse Texas for the billions expended by the state on border security, for federal officials who refuse to follow immigration laws to face hearings and impeachment, and for Congress to safeguard troopers and guardsmen from federal prosecution for protecting against illegal border crossings. "Texas has done more than its fair share for far too long," Abbott stated. "The time has come for the federal government to do its job." 

Throughout his reelection bid, Abbott heavily emphasized border security and has pledged to continue his multibillion-dollar campaign to secure the U.S. Mexico border. The governor's latest announcement follows his issuance of an executive order in July directing state law enforcement to "apprehend illegal immigrants who illegally cross the border between ports of entry and return them to the border." In September, Abbott also issued an executive order designating Mexican drug cartels as terrorist organizations.

During his campaign, Abbott posed the possibility of declaring a formal invasion at the border but stopped short due to concerns of such a measure's legality. Several far-right members of his party have pressured Abbott to formally declare an invasion at the border, arguing it would empower Texas state officials and state law enforcement to carry out deportations independent of federal immigration authorities. 

Per U.S. Customs and Border Protection data, agents have had nearly 2.4 million encounters at the U.S.-Mexico border in 2022. 

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