Texas Governor Greg Abbott (R) signed an executive order on July 28 that prohibits the ground transport of illegal migrants during the “COVID-19 disaster.”
The order states that in the Rio Grande Valley, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has “seen a 900 percent increase in the number of migrant detainees who tested positive for COVID-19.” These migrants are then transported across Texas, further exposing communities to the spread of the virus.
Gov. Abbott wrote “President Biden’s failure to enforce the Title 42 order, combined with his refusal to enforce the immigration laws enacted by Congress, is having a predictable and potentially catastrophic effect on public health in Texas.”
As a result, Gov. Abbott signed the order on a statewide basis, effective immediately. The order states, “No person, other than a federal, state, or local law-enforcement official, shall provide ground transportation to a group of migrants who have been detained by CBP for crossing the border illegally or who would have been subject to expulsion under the Title 42 order.”
Additionally, the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) has been ordered to stop any vehicle suspected of violating this rule. If it is found that the vehicle likely is transporting illegal aliens, it may be impounded, and the occupants arrested.
However, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) won a temporary restraining order against Gov. Abbott’s executive order. The DOJ claims that it violates the Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution – which states that federal law takes precedence over state laws. Brian Boynton, a DOJ attorney, claims that the state of Texas is trying to create its “own immigration regime.” In essence, the Biden administration is claiming that the Supremacy Clause of the Constitution affords them the right to break federal law, and Governor Abbott must turn a blind eye.
It is in fact the responsibility of the federal government to enforce our nation’s immigration laws, but when the federal government fails to do so, states like Texas must take action to protect the American people. Despite the administration’s deflections, it is the Biden administration which is creating an immigration regime contrary to our nation’s laws, not the state of Texas.
By refusing to enforce immigration laws and allowing illegal migrants that pose a public health threat to enter our country, Gov. Abbott believes “the Biden Administration has created a constitutional crisis between the federal government and the State of Texas.”
Furthermore, critics of Abbott’s order claim that the measure would lead to “more COVID infections because of the clustering of migrants at the border in CBP facilities operated by the Border Patrol.” Well then, why not send them back to their countries of origin? Wouldn’t that be a preferable option over letting them loose in the interior of the country where they could further spread the virus? Moreover, this argument makes little sense, as such a strategy would confine these migrants to a controlled area, versus a widespread population of infected illegal migrants entering unsuspecting communities across the country.
The arguments from open borders advocates are inherently flawed, and always have been, but this is especially true at this current moment. While on one hand, the progressive left is controlled by the fear of new COVID variants – imposing more lockdowns, enforcing mask mandates, and restricting access to both private and public space for unvaccinated individuals – they are simultaneously pushing for open borders and increased uncontrolled migration by supporting actions which allow hundreds of thousands of migrants to come freely into the country with no testing or public health precautions. The hypocrisy is palpable.
Despite the DOJ lawsuit, Gov. Abbott is not backing down. He wrote, “My duty remains to the people of Texas, and I have no intention of abdicating that. Until President Biden and his Administration do their jobs to enforce the laws of our nation and protect Americans, the State of Texas will continue to step up to protect our communities and uphold the rule of law.”