How governor Greg Abbott is using an obscure ‘invasion’ legal theory for a border power grab in Texas

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Texas Governor Greg Abbott has recently claimed that a massive influx of migrants, allegedly associated with the Sinaloa cartel and carrying drugs, is infiltrating the state. However, these claims are not backed up by evidence. The reality is that the majority of drugs, including fentanyl, are brought into the US through legal ports of entry, not through undocumented migrants. Additionally, most migrants are not cartel members. Despite this, Governor Abbott’s office has responded to these supposed threats by implementing drastic measures along the border, including deploying thousands of state police and National Guardsmen, constructing walls and razor wire, and even installing floating barriers in the Rio Grande. These actions have transformed the once serene waterway into what some describe as a war zone.

The governor’s emergency actions are based on a controversial interpretation of the US Constitution, which suggests that immigration itself is an invasion and grants states emergency war powers to combat it. However, legal experts argue that the types of individuals crossing the border, such as asylum-seekers and economic migrants, do not constitute an actual military attack, as the Constitution requires for the exercise of emergency war powers. Despite this, Texas has embraced this belief and has argued that it has the authority to deploy gunboats, build border walls, and enforce immigration laws that should be the responsibility of the federal government.

Critics argue that this legal theory is merely a way to justify immigration enforcement under the pretense of an invasion. Equating immigration with invasion is seen as an exaggeration and an attempt to justify extreme measures against migrants. Moreover, the rhetoric used by Governor Abbott and other conservative politicians in Texas bears a disturbing resemblance to that of the El Paso mass shooter, who targeted Latino individuals in a white supremacist attack. This kind of language only serves to perpetuate hate and further marginalize immigrant communities.

Despite the legal and ethical criticisms, there has been increasing pressure within the Republican Party to adopt these radical stances on immigration. Influenced by the rhetoric of former Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich and other far-right figures, Republican leaders have been urged to declare an invasion and take emergency action. However, the federal government has often clashed with these states over immigration policy. While the Biden administration is more lenient on immigration and allows some migrants to enter the country for legal proceedings, border states like Texas are pushing for stricter control of immigration and are taking measures to block and detain undocumented individuals.

This conflict between federal and state governments highlights the ongoing battle for control over immigration policy. States and private individuals have sought to take matters into their own hands, experimenting with various tactics to secure the border. Some of these efforts have faced legal challenges, while others have gone unchecked. The tension between the federal government and border states like Texas continues to grow, with both sides actively working to undermine the other. Governor Abbott has vowed to take his fight against the federal government all the way to the Supreme Court, indicating that the clash over immigration policy is far from over.

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