Status Report on Border Security Efforts at the Texas Legislature
As I write this status report on Sunday, March 5, 2023, the Texas legislative session deadline for filing of bills by end of day, Friday, March 10 looms. In past sessions, as the filing deadline approaches, legislative staffs put up signs on the office doors saying they are not taking any more bill filing requests, so every day matters this week.
Of all the issues I am working on this session, border security is the farthest behind.
First, let’s recognize some facts. The federal government is not only failing to enforce federal immigration law, it is deliberately violating it in a way that uses federal tax dollars to subsidize the profits of the cartels. These violations are enabling the deliberate fentanyl poisoning deaths of over 100,000 Americans per year. It also enables the sexual exploitation of children and the entry into the Texas of potential sleeper foreign agents.
And worse, the billions of Texas tax dollars and deployment of DPS and Texas National Guard resources is not working to stop the devastation being wrought on Texans. And to the degree that Texas resources are being used to assist federal agents in the illegal processing of illegal aliens, Texas taxes are also being used to enrich the cartels.
The reasoning of the U.S. Supreme Court in US v Arizona that says that the federal government pre-empts state action to enforce federal immigration law has sapped the will of Texas elected officials to do what it will take to stop the devastation – to repel all border crossings that do not come through ports of entry.
The most important action – and in my opinion – the only way we will actually solve the problems is to act upon the power reserved in the Constitution to Texas to act independently to repel the danger and invasion at the border. That reservation of power is found in Article I, Section 10, Clause 3, which says:
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. (emphasis added)
This provision allows Texas to protect Texans – without seeking the approval or allowing the intervention of the federal government. Article I, Section 10, Clause 3 makes clear that Texas has the sovereignty to take care of the business to protect its citizens. Sovereigns don’t seek permission. Sovereigns act. Especially when the servant delegated to defend you not only refuses to do so, but actually joins in the assault.
So, a Texas declaration of invasion and/or imminent danger that tells the world and the feds why Texas will be repelling all cross-border traffic outside the ports of entry - whether the feds help or get in the way – is the top border security priority of Texas Constitutional Enforcement this session. Note that this approach is also part the RPT Border Security Legislative Priority. And to ensure that we do this, the legislature must act.
We are being told by a state senator and a state rep that a legislative declaration is coming, but it has not been filed yet. And we have language out of Legislative Council ready to file that will require repelling and removal of invaders if the declaration is made, but we have no legislator that has yet stepped up to file and lead on it.
The Speaker several times has publicly promised an innovative border solution to be filed soon. I don’t know what that is, but some knowledgeable legislative players have speculated that it will be a combination of the creation of a new border security department that will take the pressure off the DPS and Texas National Guard combined with a declaration of invasion. We will know in a few days. By the way, I think it likely that the Texas House Freedom Caucus will play a prominent role in this effort.
The RPT Border Security Legislative Priority has two other provisions – stopping Texas taxpayer services for illegal aliens and interstate compacts to bring more resources. There are several interstate compact bills (2 in the House and 2 in the Senate), including HB 2396 by the Chair of House Homeland Security & Public Safety, Ryan Guillen.
And we have a draft in the works to stop Texas taxpayer services for illegal aliens, but it is not yet released, and we have no one stepping up to introduce it in either chamber.
By the way, it is clear to me that there is still LOTS of constitutional ignorance at the Texas Capitol. An SREC member told me this week that a Republican member of the Border Security Committee told him that Texas declaration of invasion would be unconstitutional because of the supremacy clause. Clearly that Texas Senator does not understand that the U.S. Constitution makes, not the federal government supreme, but the U.S. Constitution and laws in pursuance thereof. And Article I, Section 3, Clause 3 clearly reserves the power of Texas to act independently to protect its citizens is right there in black and white in the Constitution.
I have also been told – without any stated reasons – that “experts” are telling legislators that only the governor, not the legislature, has the authority to declare an invasion. See this article refuting that canard. There is not a scintilla of constitutional text supporting such a notion. I am reminded of the Ayn Rand quote, “The question is not who is going to let me; it is who is going to stop me.” Texans used to know that fortune favors the bold. Is that still true?
So, while busloads of various groups and an army of lobbyists are seeking the legislature to focus on the normal, business-as-usual issues, a very few are pushing to get substantive action on what most of Republican primary voters think is an existential threat to Texas – the border invasion.
What happens in the next few weeks will determine the fate of untold millions. If you want to help this week, call the members of the Senate Border Security Committee and the House Homeland Security & Public Safety Committee, especially chairs Brian Birdwell and Ryan Guillen to let them know that you want a legislative declaration of invasion and Texas to actually repel border-crossers outside ports of entry. It will only be when the busses are heading to Mexico to remove invaders rather than shipping them to the interior of the U.S., that we will know we are starting to solve this problem.
Texas Constitutional Enforcement
Email: info at tomglass.org
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