Tue, Feb 6, 2024 9:36 AM
By Bethany Blankley, The Center Square
(The Center Sqare) – Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and other leaders in Texas strongly oppose a Senate border bill introduced by Democrats, arguing it codifies mass migration into the United States and strips states of their constitutional right to self-defense.
The proposal comes after 25 Republican governors joined Texas in a constitutional battle with the Biden administration over border security.
The bill, released after months of secrecy, doesn’t secure the border, would advance illegal policies created by the Biden administration as identified by U.S. House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-Louisiana, and block states from having any judicial relief, Texas leaders argue.
One provision in the bill would prevent judges in federal courts in any state from ruling on lawsuits filed by states, essentially neutering states like Texas, Florida, Louisiana and others whose federal judges have ruled against the Biden administration in lawsuits filed over border-related measures over the past three years.
It states, "The United States District Court for the District of Columbia shall have sole and original jurisdiction to hear challenges, whether constitutional or otherwise, to the validity of this section or any written policy directive, written policy guideline, written procedure, or the implementation thereof."
“Texas stripped of powers in border security bill," Abbott said in response. "This is unacceptable.”
At a meeting with governors on Sunday, Abbott said states working together have already secured one area of the border in Texas, which they plan to replicate in other areas. Their efforts have been so successful blocking cartel-driven illegal activity that illegal activity is being pushed west to Democratic-run states providing no resistance, Texas border czar Mike Banks told The Center Square.
Texas Public Policy Foundation’s Joshua Treviño said, “If Washington, D.C., really wants to solve the border crisis, then Texans have a solution. It doesn’t require a several-hundred page bill. Our solution is just five words: get out of our way.”
TPPF has identified what it says are several problems in the bill, including a provision that would create “a phony ‘border emergency authority,’” which would enable illegal entry of 1.3 million foreign nationals and cripple existing border security measures already in federal statute.
According to Speaker Johnson’s analysis, the president already unilaterally changed how asylum claims are heard by moving adjudication to the border instead of solely at immigration courts. Instead of judges solely hearing asylum claims, Biden policies advanced hiring administrators to hear cases, contrary to law. More than 370,000 people were apprehended trying to enter the U.S. in December – nearly 12,000 a day – the highest in U.S. history. The Senate bill would allow 5,000 illegal entries a day, when federal law requires the number to be zero, with exceptions, since illegal entry in itself is a deportable crime.
U.S. Rep. Chip Roy, R-Texas, said, “The Senate ‘deal’ accepts the premise of a mass migration model. We cannot codify an acceptable level of illegal immigration. Enforce the law.”
The bill would expand current Biden administration policies by allowing “any immigration officer to unilaterally and unreviewably exempt any number of illegal aliens from the count riggering the authority,” TPPF notes. It also would allow them to exempt “illegal aliens from ‘noncontiguous countries’” from the 5,000 a day count “by effectively sunsetting itself across three years through an arbitrary limitation on the number of days per year the emergency may be invoked,” TPPF said.
As the House moves to impeach Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, U.S. Sen. James Lankford, R-Oklahoma, who orchestrated the bill with Democrats, stripped actual asylum language from existing law and gave Mayorkas “a blank check … to release illegal aliens upon declaration of an intent to seek asylum — dropping a requirement for an actual asylum claim,” TPPF notes. This provision will allow even more foreign nationals to illegally enter the country without any oversight over who is released, where they are released and for how long, jeopardizing national security, critics argue.
One criticism of Biden administration policies is the federal government contracting with nongovernmental organizations to move illegal foreign nationals throughout the country with no accountability and no transparency about who, how many and where they are sent. The Senate bill would give more than $2.3 billion to NGOs, who have “wittingly or not, abetted the border crisis and the human-trafficking cartels behind it,” TPPF said. It also would provide "hundreds of millions of dollars in unaccountable and discretionary funding for President Biden to give to corrupt foreign governments who are complicit in the border crisis.”
The senators pushing the bill have no understanding of the threat posed by Mexican cartel and transnational criminal organizations responsible for creating an invasion of the southern border, Texas officials argue. Crockett County’s invasion resolution identifies them as “paramilitary, narco-terrorist organizations that … use migrant warfare to obfuscate the trafficking of drugs and people by utilization of irregular techniques, tactics, and procedures. The terrorist designation acknowledges that non-state actors are conducting irregular warfare operations and breaching the sovereignty and national security of the United States, and furthering Gov. Abbott’s formal diplomatic representation to the United States that the State of Texas is not protected against an in invasion.”
Abbott and the Texas legislature last year designated Mexican cartels as foreign terrorist organizations, something Abbott and others have called on the president to do.
Johnson and other House Republicans have said the bill is dead on arrival.