In response to the ongoing border crisis, State Rep. Matt Krause (R–Haslet), the chairman of the Texas State House Committee on General Investigating, wrote a letter to Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton requesting a legal opinion.
According to Krause’s letter, the committee is seeking Paxton’s legal opinion on “whether the federal government has failed to uphold its obligations to protect Texas from invasion under Article IV, Section 4 of the U.S. Constitution, and whether Texas has the sovereign power to defend itself from invasion[.]”
In a comment alongside the letter, Krause said, “The situation at Texas’ southern border is unsustainable. The Biden Administration has been so inept or apathetic to the plight of Texas and other border states, that it very well could rise to a violation of Article 4, Section 4 of the U.S. Constitution.”
Krause references a recent legal opinion from the Arizona attorney general, who found the following:
The federal government’s failure to secure the border and protect Arizona from invasion is dangerous and unprecedented. Thankfully, the Founders foresaw that States might need to protect themselves from invasion and made clear in the Constitution that States retain the sovereign power to defend themselves within their own territory. … The violence and lawlessness at the border caused by transnational cartels and gangs satisfies the definition of an “invasion” under the U.S. Constitution, and Arizona therefore has the power to defend itself from this invasion under the Governor’s authority as Commander-in-Chief.
“There are many similarities between the two states and the current border crisis,” Krause stated. “The effects of a porous border are felt every day in Tarrant County and around the state. Texas has the right and responsibility to secure its border.”
State Rep. Jeff Cason (R–Bedford) told Texas Scorecard, “I commend Chairman Krause for taking action to submit a request to AG Paxton for his legal opinion on the invasion of our southern Texas border. Arizona has already rendered the opinion that an invasion is occurring. Texas must lead now and stop following.”
Sheena Rodriguez, president of Secure the Border: Save Texas, says, “If AG Paxton defines this crisis as the invasion that it is, it allows our Governor to invoke Art I, § 10, cl. 3 of the U.S. Constitution, also known as the ‘State Self-Defense Clause’.”
According to Rodriguez, “invoking the State Self-Defense Clause allows Texas to protect its citizens and the territory of Texas by all means necessary.”
“Texas is running out of time,” said Kinney County Attorney Brent Smith.
“The residents of Kinney County continue to sustain vast amounts of property damage and are threatened with imminent harm by the continual occurrences of human smuggling and sex trafficking being carried out by criminal organizations,” said Smith. “Securing the border would make all Texans safer and put an end to the illegal trafficking occurring within our state.”
“The authority is there,” claims Rodriguez. “The question now is, in these unprecedented times, do our elected state officials have the grit and fortitude to do what is right and necessary to protect Texans?”