Does Texas Have the Authority to Protect its Own Borders?

By José Niño

President Joe Biden’s immigration policies have been an unmitigated disaster ever since he assumed the presidency in January 2021. Say what you want about former President Donald Trump’s time in office, immigration seemed restrained in comparison as he tried to implement several sensible measures to contain the excesses of America’s post-1965 immigration order.

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There’s absolutely no indication that Biden and company will roll back any mass migration policies of substance. Sure, some ostensibly pro-migration politicians such as New York City Mayor Eric Adams will make noise about how immigration levels are getting out of hand. However, open borders policies form an integral part of the Democratic Party electoral strategy to “elect a new people.”

The Biden regime’s negligent immigration policies have made it obvious that there’s no appetite for immigration restriction at the federal level. Red states at the border like Texas have responded in kind by passing legislation that criminalizes immigrant invaders’ illegal entry into the state. In effect, Texas law enforcement is doing the work that federal immigration enforcers are supposed to be doing.

Unsurprisingly, the feds have responded in a hostile manner to Texas’s legislative actions.

On March 4, the Supreme Court issued a ruling that temporarily froze Texas’s anti-illegal immigration law. Effectively, the Supreme Court stayed a ruling by the Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that would have allowed law enforcement to carry out the law as soon as March 9.

On March 2, the Fifth Circuit Court reversed a lower court’s decision that previously stopped the enforcement of Texas’s new immigration law. The Supreme Court’s temporary stay is in effect until March 13 as the court determines if it will let the state enforce Texas Senate Bill 4.

As millions of illegal aliens have flooded the country under Biden’s watch, immigration has come back into the forefront of national discourse. Biden’s repeal of several Trump-era immigration restriction measures such as Title 42 and “Remain in Mexico” in addition to his use of expanded parole programs to allow illegal aliens to enter the country with greater ease has kicked off a massive migrant surge into the country.

Like a growing number of federal institutions, the federal immigration enforcement apparatus has lost credibility among the American populace. Red states like Texas are now taking it upon themselves to craft their own border security policies in order to stave off the mass migration onslaught. The feds have responded by declaring that only the federal government can regulate such matters.

Certain conservative actors in Texas politics have taken exception with this interpretation of America’s proper role in immigration enforcement. The Huffines Liberty Foundation, a libertarian-conservative non-profit organization set up by former Texas state Sen. Don Huffines, argued in a report titled “Immigration Power Should Return to the States” that Texas has the power to declare the current migrant influx an invasion as spelled out by Article 1, Section 10 of the Constitution. Additionally, Texas has the power to regulate immigration as outlined by the 10th Amendment.

The report calls on Texas activists to push their “representatives in Congress to expand the power of states to deal directly with illegal immigration.” This would “include allowing states to fully enforce federal immigration laws, make a violation of federal immigration law a state crime, and make it illegal for illegal immigrants to apply for, solicit, or perform work.”

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The overall view from this report is that the federal government has overstepped its bounds when it comes to immigration. It cited a Supreme Court case decided in 1889—Chae Chan Ping v. U.S.—as a landmark decision that granted Congress “extra-constitutional plenary power” on immigration matters.

To rectify this matter, the report also calls on Texas’s congressional delegation to push for “devolving power” to states to make violations of federal immigration law a state crime and to make it illegal for illegal aliens to apply for or carry out work.

There are legitimate debates to be had about the constitutional merits of states regulating immigration, but the United States is in an emergency moment where endlessly debating the constitutional intricacies about immigration enforcement is a dangerous endeavor.

We’re talking about a civilization-destroying process unfolding before our eyes. Strong leadership, not pedantic debates about whether states have the power to regulate immigration, is needed to decisively sort this matter out.

Red states on the border are the only entities capable of addressing the mass migration invasion at the southern border.

As imperfect as they may be, GOP-led states who assume immigration enforcement functions are the last line of defense against the ruling class project to elect a new people.

José Niño is a freelance writer based in Austin, Texas. You can contact him via Facebook and  Twitter. Get his e-book, The 10 Myths of Gun Control at josealbertonino.gumroad.com. Subscribe to his “Substack” newsletter by visiting “Jose Nino Unfiltered” on Substack.com.

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