Texas Gov. Greg Abbott declares the “invasion” of the border

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said Tuesday he had invoked the “invasion clauses” of the US Constitution and its state constitution, saying they would give him the power to take “unprecedented action” to stem the influx of stopping people.

The Republican governor has long staked out a tough approach to the U.S.-Mexico border, and it wasn’t clear what new moves he would take with the added authority.

“I have invoked the invasion clauses of the US and Texas constitutions to fully authorize Texas to take unprecedented action to defend our state against invasion,” the governor wrote on Twitter. “I use this constitutional authority and other permits and executive orders to protect our state and our country.”

He pointed to steps already being taken, including deploying the Texas National Guard and the Texas Department of Public Safety to patrol the border, using state funds to build sections of a border wall, and stationing gunboats on the Rio Grande.

The invasion declaration has long been sought by conservatives who want to see governors play a more active role in stiffening borders to fill the gaps left by the Biden administration’s looser policies.

But some of those who pushed the explanation idea said Mr. Abbott’s version fell short of what he could do.

“Governor Abbott has not invoked the full authority of an invasion declaration. Saying you’re being attacked but not stopping the intruders from coming is an empty shell,” said Ken Cuccinelli, former acting assistant secretary of homeland security, and Russ Vought, former budget director at the Trump White House.

“Until Gov. Abbott gets illegals across the border and out of the country, this will continue to be a public relations stunt — and Texas and the US are worse off because of it,” said Mr. Vought and Mr. Cuccinelli, who are now part of the Center for RenewingAmerica.

Normally, the federal government has a monopoly on the use of military force and border control. States have played a supporting role.

But Mr. Cuccinelli and Mr. Vought argue that the Constitution makes an exception when states are “actually attacked”.

Mr. Abbott’s move came just hours after Homeland Security released the latest limit figures that showed ongoing chaos at record levels.

Border Patrol agents detained more than 204,000 illegal immigrants crossing the border from Mexico in October — the highest number on record this month — and more than 26,000 others were encountered by officers arriving at land border crossings.