There is an invasion at our border, and it’s past time to officially declare it.
We face an invasion organized by heavily armed and dangerous cartels making hundreds of millions of dollars moving human beings and narcotics for profit while purposefully terrorizing Texans, Americans and the migrants seeking to come here. This is an invasion that started a long time ago across both Republican and Democrat administrations, and it hasn’t slowed down. Jeh Johnson who was DHS Secretary under Obama said that 1,000 apprehensions per day was a “crisis.”
Today, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is encountering up to 8,000 per day at our southern border. This fiscal year to date, there have been over 1.53 million encounters at our southern border. This is a 77% increase over this point in 2019 — the year when the liberal media called our southern border “a crisis” and said our border was at a “breaking point.” In fact, in 2019, the highest monthly apprehension number was in May with 144,116. In May of 2022, there were 239,416.
But the apprehensions themselves are not the real story. While the Biden administration forces CBP to process several thousand per day and release them into the U.S. — contrary to federal law —our borders are not policed, resulting in over 800,000 known gotaways since the start of fiscal year 2021.
We don’t know who these people are or where they have gone, but we know CBP has apprehended roughly 50 terrorists between ports of entry. We know thousands of pounds of lethal Fentanyl have entered through our southern border and entered our neighborhoods, killing our kids. Indeed, 71,000 of the 107,000 Americans that died from opioid “overdoses” last year were Fentanyl poisonings. And we know CBP is completely overwhelmed.
Though every state is grappling with this invasion, Texas bears the brunt. Roughly 62% of encounters this fiscal year have occurred in Texas. Over 1.7 million of the roughly 11 million illegal migrants living in the U.S. are estimated to live in Texas — roughly 6% of the Texas population and more than the population of San Antonio.
Illegal migrants in 2021 were costing over $850 million to Texas, including $152 million to house criminal aliens for a year, even before Gov. Greg Abbott launched Operation Lone Star to try to stem the tide. Those operations are now costing Texas an estimated $3 billion.
For the ranchers and leaders of south Texas, the invasion is an everyday reality. In Brooks County, Texas, there were over 108 dead bodies found in 2021 and this year, they’ve encountered some 48 bodies — forced to use a “mobile morgue.” Ranchers often find dead migrants on their property; that is, in between the destroyed fences, damaged property and escaped livestock — all devastating to their livelihoods. Many ranchers now feel so unsafe that they require their kids to carry guns to protect themselves.
Now, folks in South Texas are standing up. A few brave south Texas leaders in six counties declared a local state of disaster due to the invasion in their communities. They were correct to do so and right in calling on Texas state officials to declare an invasion consistent with both the U.S. and Texas Constitutions.
Notwithstanding the musings of beltway pundits and legal eggheads who couldn’t survive on a ranch in the first place, “invasion” does not simply mean an organized army of redcoats. As noted by former Attorney General of Virginia, Ken Cuccinelli, “the Constitution makes clear that state governments are not impotent should the federal government continue to willfully refuse to carry out its constitutional obligations to the individual states.”
Similarly, the Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich issued a legal opinion regarding invasion writing, “no State should be put in the position that Arizona and other border states have been put in through the federal government’s recent actions. The federal government is failing to fulfill its duty under Article IV, Section 4 of the Constitution to defend the States from invasion. The State Self-Defense Clause exists precisely for situations such as the present, to ensure the States are not left helpless.”
Texas, for its part has responded to the invasion with resources and taxpayer dollars — resulting in razor wire fences, DPS troopers, National Guardsmen, some arrests for trespassing, brief enhanced vehicle inspections that got the leadership of Mexico’s attention and a number of lawsuits in court. CBP is, part of course, grateful for the support and to have the backing of the Governor and the state.
Still, the crisis continues.
Over the two-day July 4th weekend in the Del Rio Sector alone, we encountered roughly 1,800 and saw roughly 400 known got-aways. Without declaring an invasion and ending the purposeful exploitation of our existing laws, the crisis will continue. Stopping the invasion requires that we recognize it, and act on it by turning people away and/or telling Mexico our ports of entry are going to be slowed to a standstill until they do their part.
In 1821, Stephen F. Austin, the “Father of Texas” brought 300 families to what is now Texas. There was no regular army to protect them, so Austin organized a group to provide protection from Comanches and eventually Mexican raiders — giving rise to the Texas Rangers. Texans did what sovereign states have done throughout history: we stepped up and protected our communities.
Today, Texans need to stand up again and protect our communities. Academics can argue in circles about the term “invasion” and debate possible liabilities incurred by the brave people who stand up to protect our borders; however, no amount of internal legal debate can protect ranchers in south Texas from ending up collateral damage to an Administration that scoffs at the rule of law.
We, Texans, must protect our families, our communities, and our state. The U.S. and Texas Constitution provides us with a path to put an end to this invasion to do just that.
Rep. Chip Roy represents the 21st District of Texas.