As a humanitarian and national security crisis continues at the southern border, the Republican Party of Texas has officially made securing the border and protecting Texans a top priority for the upcoming state legislative session.
A record number of illegal aliens are currently invading the country. U.S. Border Patrol reported more than 3 million encounters during Fiscal Year 2021-2022, far greater than the population of the entire Austin metro area. This number includes countless human traffickers and criminals on the terror watchlist.
The “Secure the Border and Protect Texans” priority description reads:
Texas shall immediately deny all taxpayer funded services and subsidies to illegal aliens. We call upon the Governor to assert his duty under Article 1, Section 10, Clause 3 of the US Constitution to declare an invasion on our Texas border and do everything in his power to protect Texans from this invasion. The legislature shall direct the Governor to enter into an Interstate Compact with one or more states for Border Security.
Many experts have warned that the border crisis provides opportunities for drug cartels, human traffickers, and other criminal organizations to expand their existing operations on American soil, and many citizens across Texas continue to worry that the influx of illegals will leave them vulnerable to violent crime.
Stopping the flow of free taxpayer cash to illegals is one way Republicans believe we can reduce illegal immigration. For example, the Texas Application for State Financial Aid (TASFA) hands out money to residents who simply prove they have been in Texas for three years. In addition to TASFA funds, illegal aliens can also qualify for in-state tuition.
“Texans pay between $579 million and $717 million each year for public hospital districts to provide uncompensated care for illegal aliens,” explained Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton. “Texans paid $152 million to house illegal criminal aliens for just one year, and [they] pay between $31 million and $63 million to educate unaccompanied alien children each year.”
On top of the enormous monetary cost is one the establishment media outlets don’t cover—the human cost.
As monthly border crossings exceed 200,000, the number of unaccompanied minors is also rising. In Fiscal Year 2021, Border Patrol apprehended 145,000 unaccompanied minors, and in 2019, President Donald Trump cited a statistic that 1 in 3 women—many of whom are underage—are sexually assaulted on their way to the U.S. border.
On top of that, the lethal drug fentanyl, which is mostly trafficked from Mexico and China, was the leading cause of death last year for Americans between the ages of 18 to 45. Families Against Fentanyl reports that out of the 100,000 drug deaths in 2021, 64,000 were caused by fentanyl—and we lose 170 Americans every day due to its poisoning.
The human cost is also revealed in countless horrific cases across the state and nation. Just this week, more than 50 migrants—who were likely transported by human traffickers—were found dead in a tractor-trailer in San Antonio. Attorney General Paxton took to Twitter to express his condolences and frustration with “policies that reward the dangerous Cartels that prey on these men and women.”
Many conservative grassroots activists have called for the governor to declare the crisis an invasion. Notably, during the 2022 Republican primary election, former gubernatorial candidate Don Huffines promised, “As governor, I will use the powers granted under Article I, Section 10 of the U.S. Constitution to defend Texas from invasion.”
By declaring an invasion, the State of Texas would have the authority to arrest, detain, and deport illegal aliens. It would also give Texas the right to raise a task force or activate the Texas State Guard to repel the invasion.
The Center for Renewing America has multiple suggestions on how to deal with the crisis. Texas could refuse state funds for localities that attempt to make themselves “sanctuary cities,” implement E-verify, and deploy the Department of Public Safety and Texas State Guard to the border.
This plan has been seconded by many other organizations. Wade Miller, executive director for Citizens for Renewing America, believes a declaration of invasion is the only way for the State of Texas to take matters into its own hands and protect citizens.
Texans will now turn their attention to Gov. Abbott and the Republican-controlled state Legislature to finally take bold action against the years-long catastrophe. Elected officials are in a unique position to solve a crisis that impacts Texas and the rest of the nation—if they finally choose to act.