Texas only has one natural lake––and unfortunately, it is not Kari Lake. Kari Lake is the Madonna of the GOP. Her command of media and shattering of convention is shaking up the Republican Party in the same way Madonna shook up pop music in the ’80s and ’90s. Lake’s policies are smart and provocative, and her telegenic charisma has set a new standard that anyone running for office should emulate.

Recently, Lake has spoken to everyone from Texas Scorecard to Tucker Carlson to lay out her policies for fighting Mexican drug cartels and mass illegal immigration if she is elected governor of Arizona. Specifically, Lake has proposed invoking Article 1, Section 10 of the United States Constitution, otherwise known as the “invasion clause.”

As Lake and others have explained, invoking the invasion clause would allow a governor to take a tougher stance against the mayhem on the southern border. Among other things, declaring an invasion would strengthen a governor’s power to build the wall––perhaps seizing federal land and material to do so––as well as deploying the National Guard, and (most importantly) expelling illegal immigrants in a style similar to the summary expulsions under Title 42.

Although Lake is still just a candidate, and it remains to be seen whether her policies will be implemented in the Copper State, Texas should implement her immigration plan immediately. More specifically, Governor Greg Abbott should fully implement Kari Lake’s border security policies as a means of protecting the Lone Star State and appealing to conservatives.

It is not hard to see that Texas is being invaded. Mexican drug cartels have murdered people in broad daylight in the Southlake town square. I-20 has been turned into a sex trafficking superhighway. Fentanyl, the powerful synthetic drug that is smuggled across our southern border and fuels our national opioid epidemic, has killed countless Texans and has become the No. 1 killer of young adults in America.

In 2005, Bear Stearns estimated there were 20 million illegal immigrants in the U.S. Since the Bear Stearns report, illegal immigration across the southern border has continued to surge with a record 2 million apprehensions at the border this year. A number of Haitians and Ukrainians––people from countries far from the continental U.S.––have been apprehended on the southern border. Most alarmingly, Border Patrol has repeatedly arrested members of the terror watchlist as they attempted to use the southern border to their advantage.

The only person meeting the federal government’s do-nothingness on border security is Governor Abbott. The Constitution dually charges the federal government and the state with repelling invasion, yet neither is doing so. Currently, federal action is a lost cause––but must we wait to apprehend El Chapo and Bin Laden themselves, in the same migrant caravan, before Abbott acts? The time for strong action is now.

Abbott antagonized conservatives by shutting down Texas twice during the COVID-19 pandemic, even as Florida demonstrated that lockdowns do not work. Abbott’s relationship with conservatives further soured when he traded opportunities to crack down on illegal immigration for good publicity.

Operation Lone Star, Abbott’s high-profile military exercise on the border, is nothing more than a long photo-op. Abbott might as well put on a silky suit and call it “Fashion Week: Del-Rio,” because it has given Texans nothing more than an opportunity to see that the governor can organize events with lots of cameras––never mind if anything is (actually) being done on the border.

Most bizarrely, Abbott recently chose to send busloads of illegal immigrants to Washington, D.C. When Abbott has the Article I authority to send illegal immigrants back across the border, one must wonder why he chooses to send them deeper into the country?

Abbott claims to oppose illegal immigration; however, he picks up the cartel’s relay. Cartel “coyotes” transport aliens to Texas, and then Abbott drives them wherever they want to go. Has any native Texan ever gotten such a good concierge service from the governor?

Conservatives support a tough stance on immigration––and conservative support for any candidate or party is not a given. For whatever reason, Beto O’Rourke has been a formidable force in Texas politics. One should not forget that Senator Cruz narrowly survived a general election against Beto in a year when Republicans expanded their control of the Senate. With a highly followed presidential bid and several successful political stunts now under his belt, Beto O’Rourke has proven himself to be a continuing (albeit inexplicable) force in Texas politics. Texas liberals are rallying around Beto; without tough action on the border, it is hard to see conservatives doing the same for Abbott.

This is a commentary published with the author’s permission. If you wish to submit a commentary to Texas Scorecard, please submit your article to submission@texasscorecard.com

Kellen McGovern Jones

Kellen McGovern Jones is a graduate student of Public Administration at The University of Alabama and a life-long Texan.

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