The state has the right to fight an “invasion” and state authority “supersedes” federal law. That was the recent statement by the governor of Texas and endorsed by more than 25 Republican governors. The crisis on the border with Mexico is on the table, especially as a campaign issue.
The Texan authorities’ stance conflicts with the federal government when it won the high court’s ruling a couple of weeks ago on tearing down these anti-immigrant barriers.
The state’s lieutenant governor, Republican Dan Patrick, said they will continue to put up barbed wire and other fencing along the border, despite the order.
“We are putting up wires everywhere we can. We will continue. We will not stop. If they cut it we will replace it,” he warned, speaking to Fox News.
Just a small stretch of the border near Eagle Pass is at the centre of a standoff between the state and Joe Biden’s administration over border authority and security.
Federal authorities said the Texas National Guard blocked federal Border Patrol access to Shelby Park, which was previously used by the force to process immigrants and for its boat ramp on the Rio Grande.
The Supreme Court ruled that the federal government can remove Texas’ barriers in the area, ensuring access for federal authorities to all parts of the border. But Patrick threatened a “confrontation” with state authorities if the Biden administration sent the Border Patrol to remove the obstacles.
“I was there on Friday with our troops to thank them, to support them and also to support them in case the Biden administration sent the Border Patrol there,” he said. “Wisely, they didn’t. We’re grateful they didn’t do it. We don’t want a confrontation, but we want this border to be secure,” he stressed.
Governor Greg Abbott (R) said the state has the right to fight what he called an “invasion” and that state authority “supersedes” federal law. Some Democrats called on Biden to nationalise the Texas National Guard and force it to tear down state barriers and enforce federal access to the border with Mexico. At least 25 Republican governors backed Abbott and criticised the court’s ruling. “We stand in solidarity with our beloved governor, Greg Abbott, and the state of Texas in their use of every tool and strategy, including barbed wire fences, to secure the border,” the Republican Governors Association said in a statement.
Meanwhile, Biden insists the deal being struck in Washington could represent a dramatic change in immigration policy during an election year.
The president admitted that the proposed policies would be “the toughest set of reforms” while calling them “fair” in terms of “securing the border” in a way that “we have never had in our country”.
But former President Donald Trump, with renewed momentum and the consolidation of his influence in the Republican Party, is part of the problem, because he opposes any pact, even going so far in his increasingly inflammatory rhetoric as to claim that “our border has become a weapon of mass destruction”. PL
(Translated by Cristina Popa – Email: firstname.lastname@example.org) – Photos: Pixabay