“If we put up resistance, we show we can secure the border.” – Gov. Greg Abbott
By BETHANY BLANKLEY | THE CENTER SQUARE
Thirteen Republican governors joined Texas Gov. Greg Abbott in Eagle Pass, Texas, Sunday to pledge their commitment to border security and states’ constitutional rights to self-defense.
“Half of the governors of the United States have joined with Texas in our cause to make sure states should do everything possible to secure our border,” Abbott said. “We are here to send a loud and clear message that we are banding together to fight to ensure that we will be able to maintain our constitutional guarantee that states will be able to defend against any type of imminent danger or an invasion that has been threatened by Joe Biden and his abject refusal to enforce the immigration laws of the United States of America.”
Abbott cited the self-defense clause of the U.S. Constitution, Article 1, Section 10, Clause 3, which more than 50 Texas counties have cited in their invasion declarations, saying, “We’re all fighting for a safer, more secure border and country.”
Joining Abbott were the governors of Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Tennessee, and Utah.
They appeared in Shelby Park, where concertina wire barriers are the focus of one of three lawsuits filed over border barriers in the Eagle Pass area between Texas and the federal government.
Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee said there are hundreds of Tennessee troops currently serving along the Texas-Mexico border.
“We are prepared even today to send additional troops working with the Texas Department of Military to do just that,” Lee, said, adding that states were doing the job the federal government failed to do, “to protect this country.”
“Each one of us understands the devastating effects that the border policy has had on every one of our states individually. We’re here together to collaboratively work to support Texas and to provide for the safety and security of people all across the country,” Lee said.
Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp said they were standing with Abbott “because every state in our country now is a border state [and] if our border is not secure, our country is not secure and Joe Biden’s policies are making our country less safe.”
He cited the record number of people being apprehended on the terrorist watch list, asking how many of them “are in our country that we didn’t apprehend?” He cited the record 458 million lethal doses of illicit fentanyl and 56,000 pounds of methamphetamine that OLS officers have seized, adding, “think about the doses that were not.”
Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders said, “obviously by the strong showing and the sheer number of governors that are stepping up across the country, it’s very clear that this is not just a fight that Texas is having. This is a fight that all of us have to engage in.” She said the president has not only “failed to protect our border, to protect our people … but he’s been dishonest about it. He’s trying to pass off the idea that somehow he has no ability to do anything to fix it, and Congress has to step up when every single person knows he can make changes and steps right now today to help secure our border and protect our country. Yet he simply refuses to do so.”
In his absence, she said, “there is no fight right now that is more important for us to engage in” as governors “because we have to, because it’s absolutely vital for the long term safety and security of our country.”
She also said Arkansas sent National Guard troops to Texas last year and will continue to do so this year “as much as we can and as much is needed.”
Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte said, “Our states are being invaded by the people crossing illegally. Our constitution gives the states the right to self-defense. That’s what Governor Abbott’s doing and that’s why we’re here standing with him today. Biden is doing the exact opposite.”
Abbott said the states’ efforts were working. There used to be 3,000 to 4,000 foreign nationals illegally entering through the park a day. Today, the average is three a day.
“If we put up resistance, we show we can secure the border,” Abbott said, adding that states can secure the border. “Joe Biden should not be stopping that.”