(The Center Square) – A ninth Texas County has declared an invasion at the southern U.S. border with Mexico.
Wise County, located in the Dallas–Fort Worth–Arlington metropolitan statistical area, joined eight counties that declared an invasion last month.
Wise County Commissioner’s Court voted unanimously Monday to invoke Article 1, Section 10 of the U.S. Constitution and declared Texas and the United States under invasion. It also requested Gov. Greg Abbott to declare an invasion “and take back our southern border.”
Judge J.D. Clark said the court approved the declaration “in solidarity with Texas border counties.”
“This is something that began with declarations and resolutions from counties on the border, understandably,” he said, “but we’re seeing counties not on the border doing this as well because it affects you no matter where you are in the state and the nation.”
Declaring an invasion “is a way to show that we recognize the massive issue that is happening down there,” he said, “and we stand with them— they are in a war zone. We know the state is [stepping up] because the federal government isn’t doing its job but the state can do more.”
Wise County has seen the biggest impact of an open border in the amount of methamphetamine pouring into the county, he said. It used to be that the meth problem was fed by home grown meth labs, he said, but that was eliminated because of a number of reasons. Now, that’s been replaced by cartel meth coming from Mexico, where it’s cheaper to produce, he said.
The declaration was signed by Clark and all four county commissioners.
Wise County is the latest to join Parker and Atascosa counties, which declared an invasion July 26, and six counties and one city that declared an invasion July 5, led by Kinney County.
Kinney, Goliad, Terrell, Edwards, and Presidio counties and the City of Uvalde were the first to declare an invasion at the southern border. Jeff Davis County’s judge had issued a declaration July 6 but its county commissioners didn’t vote in favor of it. Uvalde County had expressed interest in declaring an invasion but has yet to do so. The city’s mayor declared an invasion separately.
The county commissioner’s courts that did vote in favor of declaring an invasion all invoked Article 1, Section 10 of the U.S. Constitution. They also declared disaster declarations affirming an invasion at the southern border.
“The significance of other counties across Texas also declaring an invasion cannot be overstated,” Kinney County Attorney Brent Smith told The Center Square. “It clearly establishes that the border crisis impacts every county in the state and is not limited to those communities near the Rio Grande. The safety and security of every Texan is threatened by the federal government’s abandonment of its constitutional duty. I encourage every county in the state to acknowledge the crisis is an invasion. If Texans don’t save Texas, no one will.”
Two days after Kinney County and others declared an invasion, Abbott issued an executive order authorizing and empowering the Texas National Guard and the Texas Department of Public Safety to apprehend foreign nationals who illegally cross the Mexican border into Texas and return them to the border. While he cited constitutional provisions in his declaration, he stopped short of declaring an invasion.
“While President [Joe] Biden refuses to do his job and enforce the immigration laws enacted by Congress, the State of Texas is once again stepping up and taking unprecedented action to protect Americans and secure our southern border,” the governor said. His order states that the Biden Administration “has abandoned the covenant, in Article IV, § 4 of the U.S. Constitution, that ‘[t]he United States . . . shall protect each [State in this Union] against Invasion,’ and thus has forced the State of Texas to build a border wall, deploy state military forces, and enter into agreements as described in Article I, § 10 of the U.S. Constitution to secure the State of Texas and repel the illegal immigration that funds the cartels.”
In it, he authorized the Texas National Guard and Texas Department of Public Safety to begin returning foreign nationals who entered Texas illegally to the border “to stop this criminal enterprise endangering our communities.”
He also cited Article IV, § 7 of the Texas Constitution and Sections 431.111 and 437.002 of the Texas Government Code authorizing him to direct state military to enforce the law.
But Center for Renewing America President Russ Vought and Senior Fellow Ken Cuccinelli said the order didn’t make any “significant changes to current policy. This is still catch and release.” They also are encouraging the governor to declare an invasion.
More counties are expected to issue invasion declarations in the coming weeks, The Center Square has learned.