Former US President Donald Trump departs for his sexual assault defamation trial in New York on January 25, 2024. (Photo by ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images)
Like pouring water on a grease fire, former President Donald Trump has weighed in on the escalating standoff between the federal government and Texas. In a multi-part social media post shared Thursday night, Trump called on “all willing states” to deploy their national guard forces to Texas “to prevent the entry of illegals, and to remove them back across the Border.” Texas Gov. Greg Abbott told Tucker Carlson on Friday, that so far, ten governors had sent National Guard or other law enforcement resources to assist on the border, and will be “disappointed” if others do not follow suit.
Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt told Fox News on Friday that he also “absolutely” plans to send national guard soldiers to Texas. ““We’ve already started putting the numbers together,” said Stitt. (Less than 24 hours earlier, Stitt joined Newsmax host Carl Higbie for a casual chat about potential “force-on-force conflict” breaking out at the border.)Stitt is one of 25 red state governors who have released statements expressing support for Abbott, who is continuing to defy the Supreme Court’s ruling earlier this week that found that the federal government, not states, have ultimate jurisdiction over border enforcement. The Court’s 5-4 ruling gave a green light to Border Control to cut down the miles of razor wire that Texas forces had erected without federal permission along the Rio Grande and around Shelby Park in Eagle Pass, which is an epicenter for unauthorized border crossings. Two weeks ago, the Texas National Guard seized control of Shelby Park, blocking Border Control’s access to the area and effectively preventing them from conducting rescue missions. Rio Grande. Days later, a migrant woman and two children drowned, which the Biden Administration blamed Texas for.
Abbott has doubled down on border enforcement activity since the Supreme Court ruling. He published a strongly-worded letter on Wednesday that accused the Biden Administration of abdicating its constitutional responsibility to protect states from “invasion.” “The federal government has broken the compact between the United States and the states,” Abbott asserted. Abbott cited a dissenting opinion from the 2012 Supreme Court case Arizona v. United States that argued that states have a constitutional authority to protect themselves if the federal government fails to.Cori Alonso-Yoder, an associate professor from George Washington University Law School’s Fundamentals of Lawyering Program, told VICE News that she believes Abbott’s statement falls “more into the realm of political theater than actual supported legal theory.” But the letter “is already seeming to be rather effective as a political action,” said Alonso-Yoder. She believes Abbott may be hoping that the Supreme Court will reexamine the precedent set in Arizona v. United States and arrive at a different result. But she is skeptical, noting that the current Supreme Court justices have indicated they are not interested in making broad changes to federal immigration law. The Department of Homeland Security gave Abbott until Friday to allow Border Patrol to access Shelby Park. Local reporters on the scene have observed the Texas National Guard putting up more razor wire, and giving no indication that they’re planning to budge.
In addition to the 25 governors expressing support for Texas, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz has also extended support, as has House Speaker Rep. Mike Johnson. Some Democrats have meanwhile called on President Joe Biden to federalize the Texas national guard, which would bring those forces under his command. Abbott told Tucker Carlson on Friday that, should Biden federalize the national guard, he’ll deploy armed state employees and other law enforcement to the border. Carlson also asked Abbott if he was “concerned about conflict between state forces and National Guard and federal forces.” “All we can do is be as prepared as possible,” Abbott responded.Some Democrats have meanwhile called on President Joe Biden to federalize the Texas national guard, which would bring those forces under his command. And as if things weren’t chaotic enough already, a convoy of protesters—who have described themselves as an “army of god”— is getting ready to head to the southern border, planning to arrive in Eagle Pass and two other border cities in Arizona and California by Feb 3.