by Bethany Blankley
Two more Texas counties have declared an invasion at the southern border, bringing to 29 the total that have done so so far, with more expected to follow.
The judges and county commissioners of Wharton and Burnet counties this week signed resolutions calling for “additional measures to secure the border, stop the invasion at the border, and protect our communities.”
The resolutions state “our southern Texas border is suffering an invasion” and recognize and affirm the “sovereign and unilateral authority explicitly reserved to the states, respectively, under Article 1, Section 10 of the United States Constitution and Article IV, Section 7 of the Texas Constitution to defend themselves against invasion, which has been exacerbated by the federal government’s failure in meeting its constitutional obligation to ‘insure domestic tranquility,’ ‘provide for the common defense,’ ‘execute the laws,’ and ‘protect each state against invasion.’”
They also expressed support for Operation Lone Star and call on Gov. Greg Abbott to “take the necessary steps … to secure the Texas border and stop the invasion at the border, including the actions by paramilitary, narco-terrorist cartels that pose a huge risk to our communities.”
Article IV, Section 4 of the U.S. Constitution, among other things, stipulates that the federal government “shall protect” each of the states “against invasion.”
Article IV, Section 7 of the Texas Constitution designates the governor of Texas as the commander in chief of Texas’ military forces and, among other things, authorizes him to “suppress insurrections and to repel invasions.”
The resolutions cite Mexican drug 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 into the United States” and pose a security threat to Texas and the U.S.
They also express support for Texas border counties that are “experiencing local disaster situations as a result of inadequate border security, have passed declarations and resolutions calling for further action and security on the southern Texas border.”
So far, confirmed judges and commissioners who’ve signed resolutions in support of Texas declaring an invasion represent the counties of Atascosa, Burnet, 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, Wharton, Wichita, Wilson, and Wise.
Like Kinney County Judge Tully Shahan, who was the first to declare a state of disaster in April 2021, and the first to declare an invasion in July 2022, Hunt County Judge Bobby Stovall on Sept. 13 signed a disaster declaration in which he also declared an invasion. Unlike the resolutions signed by other judges, Stovall, who presides over a non-border county, declared an invasion not just at the Texas-Mexico border but also specifically in Hunt County.
His declaration states 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.” These and other factors 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.”
While the judges of Jeff Davis and Rockwall counties expressed support for declaring an invasion, their county commissioners didn’t sign resolutions. Uvalde Mayor Don McLaughlin is the only mayor in Texas or the U.S. to declare an invasion.
A majority of Americans recently polled say the U.S. is being invaded at the southern border. They did so after nearly 5 million people have been apprehended or evaded capture after entering the U.S. illegally since President Joe Biden has been in office, totaling more than the individual populations of 25 states.
Unlike Uvalde’s mayor, the mayor of Washington, D.C., and governor of Illinois have declared emergencies, blaming the influx of people from the border bused there from Texas and Arizona on Abbott instead of the president. They declared emergencies roughly 17 months after Texas counties began issuing disaster declarations in response to Biden administration policies reversing federal immigration law, enabling cartel violence and criminal activity to escalate in their communities.
Since July 5, 29 Texas counties, one city, the Texas Public Policy Foundation and Republican Party of Texas have all declared an invasion at the southern border and called on Abbott to use his full constitutional authority to “repel the invasion.”
While he has yet to declare an invasion, Abbott declared a disaster last May and launched a multi-agency effort to thwart criminal activity at the border through Operation Lone Star. 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) as federal agents apprehend roughly 5,000 people a day illegally entering Texas who cross the Rio Grande River.
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Bethany Blankley is a contributor to The Center Square.