George P. Bush: Time for a declaration of invasion in Texas

AP Photo/Fernando Llano

The “I” word is beginning to be heard in statements from elected officials in Texas when discussions turn to the Biden border crisis. Some are now openly using the word ‘invasion’ when it comes to the flood of illegal migrants crossing the southern border into border states. Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush is the latest to go on the record using the word. He now calls for a declaration of invasion in Texas in response to the Biden administration’s inaction to secure the border.

Joe Biden has abandoned the state of Texas, leaving our communities to suffer the crippling effects of a mass invasion perpetrated by known terrorists, drug cartels, and human smugglers. The administration’s abject failure to act has created an unlimited criminal enterprise for these bad actors that seek nothing other than personal gain at the expense of everyday Texans,” said George P. Bush.

“Texas has been left with no choice, we must assert our sovereignty and immediately declare an invasion of our state under the US constitution. Texas national guard and DPS troopers are already deployed to the border yet are handcuffed by our current federal policies.

Attorney General Ken Paxton has routinely failed to secure our border, refusing to make legal arguments that give Governor Abbott the backing to take such action and refusing to deploy legal resources to Border County DA offices. He has consistently followed in the shadows of other states less impacted by open border policies, content to fall back and let others lead the fight. Texas needs an Attorney General who is willing to take every action available to secure our state and restore Texas Justice.”

Bush’s criticism is to be expected of his opponent in the run-off election. He plays up Paxton’s legal problems which include facing three felony counts and an FBI investigation. Paxton has been under federal indictment for many months.

“Only one in three Republicans know that Ken Paxton is facing three felony counts in Houston court and facing an FBI investigation looking into bribery and corruption, so part of that is on me,” he told reporters Tuesday night. “I’m going to have to educate the public on this issue, but I’m also going to remind the public why they need to hire me.”

“But the good news is for people in Texas, Ken Paxton is going to run off, so the indicted felon will have to answer to voters,” Bush said.

Paxton has Trump’s endorsement in the race. Paxton has been a loyal Trump supporter, including going to Washington, D.C. on January 6 to attend Trump’s rally that took place before the riot broke out on Capitol Hill. Paxton said he left the Trump rally before his supporters walked over to Capitol Hill. Bush, son of Jeb!, is also a Trump supporter, despite most of the Bush family’s opposition to Trump since 2016.

A week ago, the Texas Tribune reported that there is pressure on Governor Abbott from Republicans, including former Trump administration officials, to issue a declaration of invasion. This would allow local law enforcement to expel illegal migrants apprehended at the border. The term ‘invasion’ is incendiary and a declaration is likely unconstitutional. George P. thinks there is justification under the constitution to allow Texas to secure its border when the federal government fails to do so.

George P. says Texas can invoke Article IV, Section 4 and Article 1, Section 10 of the constitution and exercise wartime powers, using state law enforcement to turn back illegals at the border.

Arizona Attorney General Brnovich is also in favor of declaring an invasion in his state but so far Governor Ducey has rejected the idea. Brnovich is currently running for governor. Ducey is term limited out of office this year. Bush points to Arizona as leading on the issue, not Texas. Ducey and Abbott work closely together on border security issues.

Challenges to the constitutionality of declarations of invasion have not gone well for states in the past.

Some states, like California, have gone to court to try to assert their alleged claim of defining what is and is not an invasion, Hoffman says. “So there is precedent for this… and the courts have rejected these claims because they impact on what they call non-judicial policy decisions that implicate foreign policy and defense,” he says.

Previous challenges to federal enforcement of immigration law have not fared well in court. California v. United States (1997) and Padavan v. United States (1996), courts ruled that the plaintiff’s invasion clause is “nonjusticiable” and that “the protection of the states from ‘invasion’ involves matters of foreign policy and defense, which are issues that the courts have been reluctant to consider.”

Many elected officials in Texas think that everything should be on the table in dealing with the Biden border crisis, especially since DHS announced that Title 42 will end next month. Border states have largely been left on their own to deal with border security. Biden doesn’t care about the humanitarian crisis his policies (or lack thereof) create. He doesn’t care that border states do not have the personnel or financial resources to handle the flood of migrants crossing the border because his administration has not provided what they request. Biden has never been to the southern border. Ever. Let that sink in – he’s been in elected office for about fifty years. He has no idea what is going on. The chaos at the southern border should also be seen as a national security issue. Both Biden and Mayorkas are failing to do their jobs. Their most important job requirement is to keep the United States safe. Immigration is a federal issue but when the federal government fails to act, what choice is there for border states?

Despite his legal problems, Paxton is expected to win the run-off. 2022 Texas Primary Runoff Election Day is May 24.