In an interview with Fox News, National Border Patrol Council Vice President Art Del Cueto called out Gov. Greg Abbott for his hesitancy to declare the humanitarian crisis at Texas’ southern border an invasion.

Earlier this week, representatives from several Texas border counties met and recognized the crisis as an invasion. The officials also implored Abbott to take action and enact Article I, Section 10, Clause 3 of the U.S. Constitution, which allows states to defend themselves from an invasion if the federal government fails to offer protection.

The first half of 2022 saw a marked increase in illegal border crossings, with U.S. Customs and Border Patrol recording more than 1.7 million arrests along the southern border, including individuals on the United States’ terrorist watch list.

In his interview, Del Cueto highlighted the dangers of unmitigated illegal migration and described how the border counties’ limited access to resources results in increased drug trafficking.

“Right now, you have so many people from one spot, so many agents in one area being pushed to other areas, having to transport, having to do processing, having to do hospital watches,” said Del Cueto. “And what is that causing? That’s causing the drug cartels to flourish because they know that [there are] those gaps in different areas at the southern border, and now they’re bringing their drugs across.”

Del Cueto also illustrated how lax immigration policies incentivize illegal migrants to continue flooding across the border.

“A lot of these individuals are getting the message that all they have to do is cross, turn themselves over to an agent, claim some type of asylum, and they’ll be released in the United States,” said Del Cueto. “There is no consequence for their action.”

He then endorsed the border counties’ invasion declaration and explained why he believed the move was necessary.

“You have to be able to deport some of these individuals,” said Del Cueto. “And just like I said, if the federal government isn’t doing something about it at this point, somebody needs to do something. You can’t just wave the white flag. That’s the bottom line.”

When asked about Abbott’s response to the declaration, Del Cueto called out the governor for failing to take action on the border crisis.

“I’m not sure what he’s planning or what they’re going to do, but I’m going to tell you right now, the National Border Patrol Council has been seeing the numbers—they’re overwhelming. A lot of the holding cells have been overflowing,” said Del Cueto. “So, they should’ve declared an invasion a long time ago.”

To close out the interview, Del Cueto expressed his disappointment with the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decision to allow the Biden administration to end former President Donald Trump’s “Remain in Mexico” policy. The order directed illegal migrants seeking asylum in the U.S. to wait for their immigration hearing in Mexico. Del Cueto lamented the decision as a loss for border states.

“What’s bothersome is during the whole time that this happened, I heard a lot of individuals saying this was a huge win for the White House,” said Del Cueto, “when in reality it was a huge loss for the American public and for many generations to come.”

Katy Marshall

Katy graduated from Tarleton State University in 2021 after majoring in history and minoring in political science.