FederalImmigration & BorderIssuesU.S. Government Could Overpower Texas if State Declared Border ‘Invasion,’ Paxton Says

Paxton explained that Biden “could easily” assume control of the Texas National Guard if the state tried to circumvent the U.S. government.
October 24, 2022
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Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton indicated that while he supports the sentiment of declaring an “invasion” on the southern border, such a policy would be unlikely to aid the State of Texas’ efforts to prevent illegal immigration.

Paxton made the comments in an interview with The Washington Examiner last week.

“The idea is we would send the National Guard down. The problem is the National Guard could easily be taken over by Biden, who’d say, ‘No, I’m in charge now,’” Paxton said. “So then what do you do? Send state police down to the border and tell them to stop Border Patrol from taking people in? … Are we supposed to start shooting the Border Patrol?”

The attorney general also discussed the question of whether the State of Texas can enforce federal immigration laws.

“The Supreme Court has said that states can’t create their own laws to do the same things,” Paxton also said, according to The Examiner. “So that leaves governors in a very difficult spot.”

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However, he contended that his litigation — which has included at least nine suits against the Biden administration on that issue alone — is making a difference.

“The Biden administration would be walking through a lot of stuff if Texas weren’t in this fight, which is the whole reason they want me out,” Paxton told The Examiner. “There’s a lot of effort by the media, by Democrats, by even some moderate Republicans to make sure that I don’t win my election.”

At least 33 counties in Texas have reportedly declared illegal immigration to be an “invasion.”

In July, Gov. Greg Abbott directed state police and members of the Texas National Guard to apprehend illegal immigrants and return them to ports of entry, stopping short of commanding deportations. Operation Lone Star, which the governor launched in March 2021, has resulted in the arrests of more than 317,000 illegal aliens in Texas, per an update published on Friday.

Abbott addressed the concept of declaring illegal immigration to be an invasion earlier this year, expressing concern that state law enforcement officers could be prosecuted by the U.S. government for overstepping their authority.

Democratic nominee Rochelle Garza has made a point on the campaign trail to criticize Paxton’s efforts against illegal immigration, characterizing them as too focused on the enforcement piece. In a poll of likely voters conducted earlier this month by the University of Texas at Austin, 51 percent of respondents preferred Paxton while only 37 percent chose Garza. The survey had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.3 percent.

Libertarian Mark Ash is also on the ballot.

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Hayden Sparks

Hayden Sparks is a senior reporter for The Texan and a lifelong resident of the Lone Star State. He has coached competitive speech and debate and has been involved in politics since a young age. One of Hayden's favorite quotes is by Sam Houston: "Texas has yet to learn submission to any oppression, come from what source it may."