Texas governor declares Biden 'in violation of US constitution' for failing to secure border

In letter to Biden, Abbott wrote that the nation's founders knew a future president "might abandon his obligation to safeguard the States from an extraordinary inflow of people who have no legal right of entry."

Updated: November 20, 2022 - 11:05pm

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook

Gov. Greg Abbott has sent a letter to President Joe Biden declaring Texas was escalating its border security efforts by invoking Article I, § 10, Clause 3 of the U.S. Constitution, enabling his state to "protect its own territory against invasion by the Mexican drug cartels.”

The governor also said in the letter last week that Biden had opened "our border to this record-breaking level of illegal immigration" and there was in "violation of Article IV, § 4 of the U.S. Constitution.

"Your sustained dereliction of duty compels Texas to invoke the powers reserved in Article I, § 10, Clause 3, which represents ‘an acknowledgement of the States’ sovereign interest in protecting their borders,’” Abbott rote, citing the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia in Arizona v. US.

Abbott also said the nation's founders knew a future president "might abandon his obligation to safeguard the States from an extraordinary inflow of people who have no legal right of entry.

“They foresaw your failures. In the more than 240 years of our great nation, no Administration has done more than yours to place the States in ‘imminent Danger’ – a direct result of your policy decisions and refusal to deliver on the Article IV, § 4 guarantee," he added. "In the absence of action by your Administration to secure the border, every act by Texas officials is taken pursuant to the authority that the Founders recognized in Article I, § 10, Clause 3.”

Abbott vowed that Texas would “escalate our efforts to repel and turn back any immigrant who seeks to enter our State at a border crossing that Congress has designated as illegal; to return to the border those who do cross illegally; and to arrest criminals who violate Texas law.”

His letter reiterates claims from his July 7 executive order first citing his constitutional authority to secure the Texas border. In it, he directed the Texas National Guard and Texas Department of Public Safety to arrest illegal foreign nationals for state crimes and apprehend those who enter Texas illegally in-between ports of entry and return them to ports of entry.

Biden hasn’t yet replied. Those in his administration, including Vice President Kamala Harris and DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, have consistently maintained “the border is secure.”