By BETHANY BLANKLEY
THE CENTER SQUARE CONTRIBUTOR
(The Center Square) — – Gov. Greg Abbott sent a letter to some Texas judges Monday reiterating his commitment to border security. He also said it’s the federal government’s job to secure the border and encouraged the judges to call on the Texas Congressional delegation to act.
So far, the judges and commissioners of 33 counties have declared an invasion at the southern border or expressed support for Abbott doing so. They’ve also called on him to use his full constitutional authority to repel it — by either expelling illegal foreign nationals out of Texas or preventing them from entering at all.
In his letter, Gov. Abbott said he invoked the Invasion Clauses of Article 1, Section 10 of the U.S. Constitution and Article IV, Section 7 of the Texas Constitution. In it, he directed the Texas National Guard and DPS troopers “to arrest and return to the border immigrants who crossed illegally and deploy DPS to arrest illegal immigrants for criminal activity.”
But the Texas National Guard was ordered to transport them to ports of entry, not expel them from Texas. And his office regularly reports how Texas law enforcement officers assist Border Patrol agents with now more than 323,000 apprehensions.
This approach isn’t what the judges, or others, believe “repelling an invasion” actually means.
Gov.l Abbott issued the order two days after Kinney, Goliad and Terrell counties first declared an invasion, a move that didn’t go far enough, many judges, the Republican Party of Texas and others maintain, including Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.
After being among the first to send aid to assist with Abbott’s Operation Lone Star, Gov. DeSantis said it wasn’t the best use of state resources. What was happening, Gov. DeSantis argued, was Texas would “let them come across and release them to the Feds and then the Feds just release them anyways.”
Instead, “What Texas needs to do is just send them back across the border,” Gov. DeSantis said. “Who cares what the Feds are saying? They aren’t doing their job.
“Texas shouldn’t let them come across the border to begin with. They just walk right across the river. No one is stopping them.”
Gov. DeSantis also said he’d send assistance if he thought Texas’ strategy “was really making a difference. But to just stop somebody, hand off to Border Patrol and then the Border Patrol releases them, I’d much rather have our folks here to protect Floridians.”