The border crisis has been one of the most pressing issues facing the United States in recent months. The Biden administration has been widely criticized for its handling of the situation, which has resulted in a surge of illegal immigrants, drugs, and potential terrorists entering the country.
In response, Texas Governor Greg Abbott has taken matters into his own hands, deploying the National Guard and state troopers to the border, building razor wire fences, and arresting trespassers. He has also sued the federal government for failing to enforce immigration laws and protect the sovereignty of the state.
However, Abbott is not alone in his fight. He has received the support of 24 other Republican governors, who issued a joint statement on January 25, 2024, expressing their solidarity with Texas and its constitutional right to self-defense.
The Joint Statement
The joint statement, which was signed by governors from Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wyoming, reads as follows¹²³:
“President Biden and his Administration have left Americans and our country completely vulnerable to unprecedented illegal immigration pouring across the Southern border. Instead of upholding the rule of law and securing the border, the Biden Administration has attacked and sued Texas for stepping up to protect American citizens from historic levels of illegal immigrants, deadly drugs like fentanyl, and terrorists entering our country.
“We stand in solidarity with our fellow Governor, Greg Abbott, and the State of Texas in utilizing every tool and strategy, including razor wire fences, to secure the border. We do it in part because the Biden Administration is refusing to enforce immigration laws already on the books and is illegally allowing mass parole across America of migrants who entered our country illegally.
“The authors of the U.S. Constitution made clear that in times like this, states have a right of self-defense, under Article 4, Section 4 and Article 1, Section 10, Clause 3 of the U.S. Constitution. Because the Biden Administration has abdicated its constitutional compact duties to the states, Texas has every legal justification to protect the sovereignty of our states and our nation.”
The Constitutional Basis
The joint statement cites two constitutional provisions that support the states’ right to self-defense in the face of federal inaction or overreach. These are:
- Article 4, Section 4, which states that “The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government, and shall protect each of them against Invasion; and on Application of the Legislature, or of the Executive (when the Legislature cannot be convened) against domestic Violence.”
- Article 1, Section 10, Clause 3, which states that “No State shall, without the Consent of Congress, lay any Duty of Tonnage, keep Troops, or Ships of War in time of Peace, enter into any Agreement or Compact with another State, or with a foreign Power, or engage in War, unless actually invaded, or in such imminent Danger as will not admit of delay.”
The governors argue that the influx of illegal immigrants constitutes an invasion, and that the federal government has failed to protect the states from it. They also claim that they have the right to keep troops and engage in war, if necessary, to defend themselves from imminent danger.
The joint statement is a clear sign of the growing rift between the Republican-led states and the Democratic-led federal government. It also reflects the frustration and anger of many Americans who feel that their security and sovereignty are being threatened by the Biden administration’s policies.
The statement could also have legal and political consequences, as it could escalate the conflict between Texas and the federal government, and potentially lead to more lawsuits, sanctions, or even violence. It could also influence the public opinion and the upcoming midterm elections, as the border crisis is likely to remain a hot-button issue for both parties.
The joint statement by 25 Republican governors is a bold and unprecedented move that shows their support for Texas and its border security efforts. It also challenges the authority and legitimacy of the Biden administration, and asserts the states’ right to self-defense under the Constitution. The statement could have significant implications for the future of the nation, as it could deepen the division and tension between the states and the federal government, and affect the outcome of the 2024 elections.
(1) Gov. Reynolds & 24 Republican Governors Joint Statement Supporting …. https://governor.iowa.gov/press-release/2024-01-25/gov-reynolds-24-republican-governors-joint-statement-supporting-state-texas-constitutional-right
(2) Gov Kim Reynolds and 24 Republican Governors Joint Statement Supporting …. https://www.rcreader.com/news-releases/gov-kim-reynolds-and-24-republican-governors-joint-statement-supporting-state-texas%E2%80%99
(3) Gov. Reynolds & 24 Republican Governors Joint Statement Supporting …. https://kiow.com/2024/01/25/gov-reynolds-24-republican-governors-joint-statement-supporting-state-of-texas-constitutional-right-to-self-defense/
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