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51st Texas county declares invasion at southern border

Some of Montgomery County’s residents have called on county officials to declare an invasion for over a year and a half.

Published: January 23, 2024 9:37pm

(The Center Square) -

One day after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled against the state of Texas in a legal battle with the federal government over wire barriers at the border, Montgomery County officials unanimously passed a resolution declaring an invasion and expressing support for Gov. Greg Abbott’s border security mission, Operation Lone Star.

After the vote Tuesday, Montgomery County Judge Mark Keough said he wanted to say something “in response to the Supreme Court ruling yesterday to allow Border Patrol agents to remove Texas barriers. I believe it is time for Texas to show some civil disobedience.”

Through OLS, Texas erected concertina wire barriers to prevent illegal entry between ports of entry on Texas soil. After Border Patrol agents began tearing them down, Texas sued. The Supreme Court reversed a Fifth Circuit Court ruling, Border Patrol agents are now able to tear down Texas’ concertina wire barriers in Eagle Pass, Texas, as the case progresses.

After the ruling, Abbott said he would “continue to defend Texas' constitutional authority to secure the border and prevent the Biden administration from destroying our property.”

Some of Montgomery County’s residents have called on county officials to declare an invasion for over a year and a half. One of them was Montgomery County resident Jonathan Hullihan, General Counsel for Citizens Defending Freedom, who argues that what’s happening at the U.S. border isn’t an immigration issue, but a national security issue. Hullihan, an international law and national security law expert, serves in the reserves in the Navy Judge Advocate General’s Corps, after previously being deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan.

He argues that Texas has the constitutional authority to declare an invasion at its border with Mexico and to repel it. He cites what’s referred to as the “Guarantee Clause” of the U.S. Constitution (Article IV, Section 4), and other historical precedent, including a legal opinion written by former Republican Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich.

Brnovich was the first and only state attorney general in U.S. history to issue a legal opinion defining an invasion. He argued the Biden administration failed to protect Arizona from an invasion under the Guarantee Clause and that the governor, as commander-in-chief, has the independent authority under the state self-defense clause of the Arizona constitution to defend Arizona from an invasion.

Kinney County Attorney Brent Smith agreed. Smith led the charge for Texas counties to declare an invasion using similar arguments. The judges and commissioners of Kinney, Goliad and Terrell counties were the first to declare an invasion on July 5, 2022. By November of last year, officials from 50 counties had passed invasion resolutions.

After The Center Square reported on 50 counties declaring an invasion and that Atascosa Judge Weldon Cude was encouraging other counties to do the same, several officials reached out to him, he said, including from Montgomery County. Roughly two weeks later, Montgomery County, located north of Harris County, became the 51st county to do so.

Cude is encouraging more counties to declare an invasion because “it’s important to defend Texas sovereignty and this country when the president won’t. Texans will not back down from defending Texas or the United States,” he told The Center Square.

“We have the solutions to secure our border and prevent criminals and terrorists from coming in,” Cude added, urging Congress to act. “Congress must stop the invasion now. We don’t want amnesty. We don’t want press conferences. We want the border shut down. We want Americans protected from cartels and criminals.”

Montgomery County’s resolution cites Article IV, Section 4 of the U.S. Constitution, which states the federal government shall “guarantee to every state in this Union a Republican Form of Government and shall protect each of them against invasion.” It also cites Article IV, Section 7 of the Texas Constitution, which gives the governor the legal authority “to suppress insurrections and to repel invasions.”

It also calls on the Texas congressional delegation to “immediately undertake any necessary legislative action that will compel President Biden and all federal agencies to secure our southern border with Mexico in order to protect the citizens of Montgomery County and all citizens of Texas and the United States.”

After the Supreme Court ruled against Texas, Smith told The Center Square, “What many people fail to comprehend is that Texas is facing a real threat to the safety and security of our citizens. This is not an immigration policy debate playing out but a constitutional threat to the sovereignty of Texas. Now more than ever, Governor Abbott must stand firm for Texas and not back down.”

Texas has historically borne the brunt of illegal border crossings and the crime that comes with it. Under the Biden administration, in fiscal 2023, the greatest number of illegal border crossers entered Texas in U.S. history – more than 1.9 million, or nearly 50% of all illegal border crossers reported to have entered the country.

So far, nearly 100 Texas counties have issued disaster and invasion declarations, or both, citing the border crisis, The Center Square has exclusively reported.

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