Influential think tank urges Texas to declare invasion at southern border

While Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas has claimed the border is closed and secure, 14 attorneys general have called for his resignation.

Updated: September 12, 2022 - 11:48pm

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The head of the Texas Public Policy Foundation is advocating for the state to declare an invasion at the southern border to protect Texas sovereignty and Texans “from cartel forces and their allies.”

TPPF CEO Greg Sindelar says the foundation is advocating for the state of Texas to declare that "an invasion [is] underway, from cartel forces and their allies, under the U.S. Constitution’s Article I, Section 10.” It’s also calling on the federal government to designate Mexican cartels as terror organizations, among other policies it will be proposing.

“The time for Texas to act is long overdue,” Sindelar said at the 80th annual Assembly and Convention of the American Society of Mexico in Mexico City, according to a transcript of his remarks.

They came after county judges and commissioners representing 18 counties and the Republican Party of Texas have lauded Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s efforts to secure the southern border but want him to do even more. County officials have passed resolutions arguing “the health, safety, and welfare of Texas residents are under an imminent threat from the unprecedented levels of illegal immigration, human trafficking, and drug smuggling coming across the U.S. border from Mexico.”

Nearly 5 million people have been apprehended or evaded capture entering the U.S. since President Joe Biden implemented significant policy changes at the southern border. While Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas has claimed the border is closed and secure, 14 attorneys general have called for his resignation and Texas and numerous states have sued, arguing his policies are unconstitutional and wreaking havoc in their states.

Texas and Mexico share the largest portion of the southern border of 1,254 miles. Mexico is Texas’ largest trading partner with more than $660 billion in total trade in 2021.

“The relationship between the U.S. and Mexico is of vital national importance,” Sindelar said, and the two countries are “bound by a common heritage, a common border, and a common future.”

But this relationship and the safety of Mexican and American citizens are under attack by Mexican cartel violence, he added. The cartels have gained “footholds in the police forces, the military, and governments from the town mayor to the federal state,” Sindelar said, and expanded “their reach into the operations of large companies and federal agencies, where – whether motivated by fear of threats or hope of personal profit – it is often easier to look the other way.”

The corruption that’s taken root, and toleration of it, has led to the Mexican government being unable to provide security to its own people, he said. As a result, Mexican cartels “effectively control 30 to 40 percent of Mexico’s territory.

“That is not a few bad apples. Having 30 to 40 percent of Mexico’s territory controlled by the cartels is ‘industrial-scale’ corruption,” he argues, which requires “the active involvement of the government to grant the cartels their influence.”

The Mexican government is partnering with the cartels, he said, when it “ought to be protecting its own citizenry FROM cartels.”

As a result, this “industrial scale corruption of Mexican civic life is a direct threat to Texas and our way of life,” Sindelar said.

While Abbott hasn’t declared an invasion, he’s most recently directed state law enforcement officials to apprehend illegal border crossers and deliver them to ports of entry. He’s also the only Texas governor to build a wall on Texas soil.

Abbott and the Texas legislature have dedicated more than $4 billion of Texas taxpayer money to state border security efforts through Operation Lone Star, which includes deploying thousands of members of the Texas National Guard and Department of Public Safety troopers to the border to interdict criminal activity.

Since last March, they’ve apprehended more than 302,600 foreign nationals who illegally entered Texas, made more than 19,700 criminal arrests and reported more than 17,200 felony charges. Texas DPS also has seized more than 340.5 million lethal doses of fentanyl.

The governor and legislature implemented numerous legislative reforms to make it easier to prosecute human smugglers and human traffickers in Texas, and enhanced penalties for the manufacturing and distribution of fentanyl, among other measures.

Texas has bused more than 10,000 people to the so-called sanctuary cities of Washington, D.C. (7,900), New York City (2,200) and Chicago (300).

“Every individual who is apprehended or arrested and every ounce of drugs seized would have otherwise made their way into communities across Texas and the nation due to President Biden's open border policies,” Abbott argues.