Six Texas House Democrats called on the Biden administration to exercise federal authority against the statement by the GOP Texas Gov. Greg Abbott of an “invasion” at the US-Mexico border.
In a letter Thursday to Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, Democrats said Abbott’s statement violated the Constitution by unlawfully usurping federal authority.
“As members of Congress representing the great state of Texas, we are deeply disturbed by recent comments by the Governor of Texas suggesting that he invoked invasion authorities under the U.S. Constitution to justify the use of resources of the state to further militarize our southern border,” the members wrote in the letter organized by Rep. Sylvia Garcia (D-Texas).
“As such, we are writing to urge the U.S. Department of State and the Department of Homeland Security to intervene in the Governor of Texas’ ongoing efforts to usurp the federal government’s power to manage international relations and the right to immigration,” they added.
On Tuesday, Abbott said via Twitter a series of measures, including deploying “gunboats” on the Rio Grande and declaring Mexican cartels as terrorist organizations, invoking “the invasion clauses of the constitutions of the United States and Texas. “.
The move has ruffled feathers on both sides of the border.
The Mexican government on Tuesday issued a statement pushing back against Abbott and put its consular system under scrutiny for “the violation of rights [of Mexican citizens] by any authority.
“In the United States, the implementation of immigration laws, border control and the negotiation of international agreements fall under the exclusive jurisdiction of the federal government, which is why bilateral dialogue on these issues between our countries has not place only at this level,” reads the Mexican Foreign Office. Release from ministry.
“The measures announced by the governor, in any case, can be understood as political measures.”
In their letter, Texas Democrats also downplayed Abbott’s language.
“Apart from legal authority, there is simply no border invasion. Many immigrants arriving at our border are exercising their right to seek asylum and other forms of humanitarian assistance. They are not waging war on the United States or Texas,” the lawmakers wrote.
Texas lawmakers added that the US Constitution “prohibits states from engaging in activities that involve international affairs.”
They said that calling a migratory phenomenon an invasion could have deadly consequences.
“Declaring an invasion under the U.S. Constitution is an inflammatory and divisive idea that will certainly lead to unnecessary litigation and foster dangerous anti-immigrant sentiments,” they wrote.
“Put simply, this type of reckless blow will only continue to put Latin American communities at greater risk of violence.”
Texas has a long history of anti-Mexican violence, including widespread persecution by law enforcement like the Texas Rangers well into the 20th century.
During Abbott’s tenure as governor, the state saw the 2019 El Paso shooting, the deadliest anti-Hispanic mass shooting in the nation’s history.
Along with García, Texas Democratic Representatives Al Green, Sheila Jackson-Lee, Verónica Escobar, Joaquín Castro and Lloyd Doggett signed the letter.
“We hope you share our same sense of urgency and act accordingly to mitigate the consequences of this reckless course of action,” the lawmakers wrote.
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