Courtesy of Teresa Weirich, FTP Leader of Focus 4 Border Security

The 88th Texas Legislature was an epic failure as it pertains to border security legislation. While there were several minor border security bills, by and large, Governor Abbott, Lt. Governor Dan Patrick, and the majority of Republicans threw their support behind HB 20.  House Bill 20, the priority legislation filed by state Rep. Matt Schaefer, R-Tyler, would have tested the boundaries of the state’s ability to enforce immigration law, which courts have historically ruled falls under federal purview. HB 20 would have established provisions relating to measures to ensure the safety and welfare of the border region of Texas including provisions providing for the protection from ongoing criminal activity and public health threats and provisions establishing a new border protection unit.

With a Republican Governor, Lt. Governor, Attorney General, House majority, how did this bill not get passed?  When HB 20 was being debated on the House floor, the Democrats filed 3 points of order.  Speaker Dade Phelan sustained the third point of order, which was a discretionary decision, sending the bill back to committee.  There simply was not enough time left in the 88th Regular Legislative session to amend HB 20 or other border security bills in still committee.  The legislative process is cumbersome at best and requires leadership and commitment from Republican leaders. While there are standouts such as Representative Matt Schaefer who championed this bill, the lack of leadership from the top down resulted in this failure and many others relating to the top Republican priorities for this session. Speaker Dade Phelan is a constant obstacle to passing legislation aligned with Republican priorities. One must ponder how and why Speaker Dade Phelan wields the power he does, often siding with the left, without recrimination.

It is the opinion of many border security and constitutional subject matter experts that Governor Abbot currently has the constitutional authority under Article IV, Section 4 of the Constitution, which states:  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.

What is stopping Governor Abbot from taking necessary and aggressive action to secure our border from an invasion and stop the flow of human trafficking, drugs, weapons, infectious diseases, and terrorists? Points to consider:

Biden is not securing the border. It is an intentional political decision.

Article I, Section 10, Clause 3 of the Constitution – allows for a “self-help remedy.”

A Governor invoking Article I authority to repel an invasion, while acting in the safety and security interests of the State in question (especially set against the backdrop of federal unwillingness or negligence in fulfilling its constitutional Article IV obligations), is wielding a legitimate power. This power cannot be nullified because the majority of alien invaders happen to share a similar race, language, and/or ethnicity. Article I authority can be applied to ordinary illegal border crossers who are violating our laws in various respects by entering the United States without appropriate permission, especially when they are doing so in the kinds of mass numbers seen at the border right now. Neither assistance by the Mexican government nor participation in cartels (or supervision by cartel “coyotes”) limits the span of the invasion. In other words, all types of illegal border crossers must be deemed part of the invasion that is currently underway, even those who have no government or cartel involvement.

Good government lawyers don’t tell the governor no, they tell them how. Good governors don’t take no for an answer.  Demand leadership and courage from our Governor and elected officials.