A pitched border battle pits Texas’ claim to “self-defense” against the federal government

0

The White House responded strongly Thursday to the latest showdown between Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and President Joe Biden over who controls the southern border.

In a statement posted to

He said he would ignore any effort by the federal government to remove the razor wire Texas has installed along the border with Mexico.

Abbott claimed in the statement that “the federal government has violated the agreement between the United States and the states.” “The executive branch of the United States has a constitutional duty to enforce the federal laws that protect the states, including the immigration laws that are currently on the books. President Biden has refused to enforce those laws, and has even violated them. The result is that he has broken records.” for illegal immigration.

Photo: Governor Greg Abbott speaks after signing bills designed to strengthen border security, Austin, Texas, June 08, 2023.

Governor Greg Abbott speaks after signing bills designed to strengthen border security, Austin, Texas, June 08, 2023.

Brandon Bell/Getty Images

He said the state’s right to self-defense supersedes any federal law, despite a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that the Border Patrol can remove razor wire. (Abbott’s claim that the state has a right to “self-defense” has never been tested in court.)

“This authority is the supreme law of the land and supersedes any federal laws that conflict with it,” he claimed. “The Texas National Guard, Texas Department of Public Safety and other Texas employees are acting on that authority, as well as state law, to secure the Texas border.

Abbott had ordered the Texas National Guard and the Department of Public Safety to place barbed wire, specifically in Shelby Park, which is close to the Eagle Pass section of the border, which is the site of large migrant crossings and a hotspot back and forth between the White House and the governor.

Photo: President Joe Biden delivers remarks during a campaign event in Manassas, Virginia, January 23, 2024.

President Joe Biden delivers his remarks during a campaign event in Manassas, Virginia, January 23, 2024.

Evelyn Hochstein – Reuters

The US Supreme Court, by a 5-4 vote on Monday, cleared the way for federal agents to remove the wire, which administration officials and immigration advocates have described as dangerous and inhumane.

“On Tuesday, the Department of Homeland Security sent Texas a letter outlining the access the Border Patrol needs at Shelby Park to do their work, and asking Texas to confirm that access,” a White House spokesperson told ABC News. “As we have said many times before, Governor Abbott must stop his extreme political actions and stop making it more difficult and dangerous for Border Patrol to do their jobs.

The Department of Homeland Security says the state’s activities contradict clear federal superiority in setting border enforcement policy.

The letter to Texas, which was obtained by ABC News, demands that Texas “remove” any obstructions to Shelby Park in Eagle Pass.

Texas law enforcement, acting on Abbott’s order, denied CBP physical access to Shelby Park.

The Supreme Court on Monday vacated a lower court injunction prohibiting DHS from cutting wire, “and restored the Department’s right to cut and move razor wire placed by Texas in order to perform its lawful duties,” DHS General Counsel Jonathan Meyer wrote to Texas. Attorney General Ken Paxton.

PHOTO: Concertina wire, placed by the Texas National Guard, is placed around the perimeter of a pit formerly used to hold migrants in Shelby Park, on the US-Mexico border in Eagle Pass, Texas, January 16, 2024.

Concertina wire, placed by the Texas National Guard, is placed around the perimeter of a pit formerly used to hold migrants in Shelby Park, on the US-Mexico border in Eagle Pass, Texas, January 16, 2024.

Kylie Greenlee Bell/Reuters

The Department of Homeland Security believes Shelby Park is not open to the public, as Texas has claimed. The department acquired permanent real estate interests in and around Eagle Pass in 2008 to support the construction and maintenance of border barriers in and around the Shelby Park area, Meyer says.

“We ask that you immediately remove any and all obstructions thereon, which include access points to Shelby Park near the intersections of Ryan Street, Main Street, and Ryan and Rio Grande Streets, as well as access points at Ford Street and the two access roads,” Meyer writes. “.

Meyer outlined the areas DHS has requested access to that Texas says are off-limits, saying it needs access and needs Texas to confirm it will grant access to the park by Jan. 26.

Abbott continued to fight Thursday.

“The president of the United States is not doing his duty to enforce the laws passed by Congress that prevent illegal entry into the United States,” Abbott told Fox News.

But he did not answer whether he would physically block federal officers from Shelby Park.

On Thursday, House Speaker Mike Johnson backed his fellow Republican in his escalating battle with the White House.

“I stand with Governor Abbott,” Johnson said on Channel X. “The House of Representatives will do everything we can to support him.”

The Supreme Court justices did not elaborate on the details of their order, but it was seen as meaning federal border agents could resume full control of the disputed border region while litigation continues.

Despite this, Texas DPS spokesman Lt. Chris Olivarez posted a video of the Texas National Guard reinforcing some barricades along the Rio Grande River in Eagle Pass on Thursday.

Texas DPS and the Texas Military Department “will continue to hold the line,” he said.

Democratic Rep. Joaquin Castro, who represents San Antonio, said in a post on X that Abbott is “using the Texas National Guard to obstruct and create chaos at the border.”

“If Abbott is defying yesterday’s Supreme Court ruling, the US President needs to impose sole federal control over the Texas National Guard now,” he said.

John Cohen, the former acting undersecretary for intelligence and analysis at the Department of Homeland Security, said Abbott’s explanation is inaccurate.

“An invasion that refers to a mass migration movement as an invasion is consistent with white supremacist ideological beliefs,” Cohen, an ABC News contributor, said.

“We are certainly in a period of humanitarian crisis, and we are certainly dealing with a significant increase in the number of people fleeing poverty, violence, and public health issues, and seeking the protection and safety of the United States under international agreements and federal law,” he said.

This article originally appeared on abcnews.go.com

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.