Abbott’s Declaration Revisited

One of the fellows on the site who lives in Texas asked a very interesting question about Governor Abbott’s declaration of an invasion and his authority under Article I, § 10, Clause 3 of the US Constitution to defend his state from this invasion.  He asked, “I wonder–why did Gov Abbott have to wait so long?”  It’s a good question.

Now, I’m not an expert on Texas or on Greg Abbott.  In fact, I’d love to get opinions from as many people from Texas as I can.  But in lieu of that I’ll speculate.

  • Abbott waited this long because this is an inherently risky action that he didn’t want to have to undertake.  But the crisis has gotten so much worse that it has become an existential threat to the whole state.
  • Maybe it has only recently become clear that such a rationale for taking over jurisdiction from the border patrol was justified under the Constitution. In fact, maybe someone outside of the Texas state government provided the justification.
  • Possibly the Supreme Court’s decision forced Abbott’s hand.
  • Maybe Abbott believes that illegal immigration has become such an unpopular issue that he doesn’t think that Biden will resist his efforts to put a halt to the problem.

But whatever the reason that he waited, the declaration is a very clear and strong stand to take against the federal government.  State military action is only warranted under this clause when war is actually underway at the border.  After what the Supreme Court recently ruled it’s entirely possible that they will side with Biden against what Abbott has declared.  This is a radical move.

I don’t mind saying that this action has captured my imagination.  This is the first time anyone has told the feds to pound sand that I can remember in my adult lifetime.  What if this is finally that revolt by the states that we’ve all been waiting for all these years?  If Abbott takes this moment to implement all the actions that are needed to purge Texas of illegal immigrants, he would galvanize the nation.  Other states might mimic what he is doing and I believe it would synergize with Donald Trump’s anti-immigration message.

I am aware that Biden has enormous resources to attack Abbott’s efforts.  He can declare authority over the Texas National Guard and order them to stand down.  Theoretically he can declare Texas to have committed an insurrection by blocking the Border Patrol from letting the illegal immigrants in.  Theoretically he can arrest Abbott and the whole Texas state administration.  Or he can back down.

This will play out over the next few days and weeks.  The question is who will blink.  I had always thought that Greg Abbott was a Bush Republican.  I assumed he would never revolt against the federal government.  But what I’ve seen here today “begs to differ.”

Well, I better go soak my head under some cold water.  I’m much too stirred up by all this unbridled enthusiasm.  It doesn’t contribute to my peace of mind.  But I do admit, it is fun.

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4 months ago

As a Texan, the same question came to my mind: “What took you so long?” This has been going on for 3 years! But I think one or more of your suggested reasons is the answer. Abbot needed to make the northern blue cities feel the pain before he could act. (Full credit to DeSantis who bussed illegals first.) Now that the invasion is recognized as the number 1 problem facing the US, Abbot’s actions are winning in the public arena. Does PINO Joe want to go toe to toe with Texas in an election year? Maybe. Maybe that’s the… Read more »

Neil Dunn
Neil Dunn
4 months ago

I think all 4 of your points could have contributed to Gov. Abbott’s decision. Fox interviewed the Gov. (8 min video) and, overall, he is quite clear about what he
has done and why. Gov Abbott mentions that “illegal immigration” is now the #1 US
political now. Maybe that motivated him–he certainly is getting conservative support
from lots of states, Trump, etc. I still don’t fully understand why he could not have acted
sooner–but I am just a citizen, not a politician.