Gov. Greg Abbott invokes 'invasion clauses' in border security push

Texas governor Greg Abbott announced Tuesday that he is invoking the Invasion Clauses of the U.S. and Texas Constitutions in his latest effort to protect the Texas-Mexico border.

In a tweet, Abbott says the move will "fully authorize Texas to take unprecedented measures to defend our state against an invasion."

In the past, Abbott has stopped short of calling the situation at the border an ‘invasion’.

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The actions listed by the governor include:

  • Deploying the National Guard to the border and turning back immigrants trying to cross illegally
  • Sending DPS to the border to arrest and return people who crossed the border illegally
  • Build a border wall in multiple counties
  • Deploy gun boats to secure the vorder
  • Designate Mexican drug cartels as foreign terrorist organizations
  • Enter into an agreement with other states to secure the border
  • Enter into agreements with foreign governments to enhance border security
  • Provide resources for border counties to increase their efforts to respond to the border invasion

Abbott invoked Article IV Section 4 of the U.S. Constitution, known as the "Invasion Clause", and gave his state law enforcement the power to arrest migrants and drop them at ports of entry rather than deporting them back in July.

The invasion clause says the federal government "shall guarantee every state in this Union a republican form of government and shall protect each of them against invasion." 

Abbott sent a letter to county judges along the Texas-Mexico border on Monday saying, "we must remind our representatives in Washington that securing the border is the federal government’s responsibility under Article I, § 8 and Article IV, § 4 of the U.S. Constitution."

The border was a top issue for Abbott during his re-election campaign for governor.

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"Texans have demanded a more secure border," he said during his victory speech in McAllen. "Where, and if, Congress falls short Texas must continue our unprecedented efforts to secure our border."

New DHS figures show that for the fiscal year ending in September, nearly 2.4 million migrants were detained at the border, a 37% increase from the year before.