During an interview with Fox News, Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick asserted that his state is being invaded, which may give Texas the power to remove illegal immigrants from the country. According to Patrick, the Constitution gives the state the “power to put hands on people and send them back.”
Fox News anchor Trace Gallagher interviewed the lieutenant governor on Tuesday afternoon regarding the growing crisis at the southern border. The interview occurred shortly before Kinney County, a Texas border county, declared the surge in illegal immigration to be an “invasion.”
“Some counties in Texas are ready to declare an invasion into their counties,” Patrick said. “We had 230-some-thousand cross the [U.S.] border last month. That’s only who we apprehended.”
“We are being invaded,” the lieutenant governor added. “If we’re being invaded under the Constitution, I think that gives us the power to put hands on people and send them back.”
In a press release accompanying his county’s declaration of an “invasion,” Kinney County Judge Tully Shahan discussed the conditions experienced by residents of his county as thousands of illegal immigrants cross the border from Mexico into Texas every day.
“During the month of June, Kinney County law enforcement has prevented over 67 smuggling attempts along our roadways,” the press release states. “This past weekend included the unfortunate deaths of 3 illegal aliens who were involved with human smuggling in Kinney County.”
The press release went on to note that the county has been forced to “militarize our school campus with vehicle barriers to prevent high-speed chases from entering campus and injuring children.”
“We are taking these steps in hopes of encouraging our Governor to acknowledge the existence of an invasion on our border with Mexico and take the necessary actions to preserve and protect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Texas,” the county judge wrote.
In Texas, a county judge is the chief executive officer of the county.
Several county judges have also expressed their support for the declaration of invasion and are urging Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) to do the same.
Breitbart Texas reached out to the governor’s office for a comment regarding the invasion declaration in Kinney County and the calls for him to follow suit. According to the news outlet, Abbott’s office did not rule out such a declaration at the state level.
“All strategies remain on the table as Texas continues stepping up in the federal government’s absence,” the governor’s spokesman Renae Eze said in a written statement. “While President Biden ignores the ever-growing humanitarian crisis, and Congressional members visit the border for photo-ops and then return to Washington to do nothing, Texas has deployed thousands of Texas National Guard soldiers and DPS troopers and allocated over $4 billion of Texas taxpayer money to secure our border, including building our own border wall, erecting strategic barriers, and sending significant resources to help our local partners as was mentioned repeatedly in the Brackettville press conference.”
“It’s past time for President Biden—and for both parties in Congress—to do their jobs and secure our southern border,” the spokesman added. “As the challenges on the border continue to increase, Texas will continue to take additional unprecedented action to address those challenges caused by the Biden Administration.”
Abbott’s office did not elaborate as to what those “unprecedented actions” might be.