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U.S. Rep. Jodey Arrington: The unmitigated disaster at our southern border

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U.S. Rep. Jodey Arrington: The unmitigated disaster at our southern border

Opinion Column by Rep. Jodey Arrington
As Seen in the Lubbock Avalanche Journal
Friday, February 16, 2024

At the end of January, I hosted eight town halls in seven counties over the span of two days. I can tell you unequivocally that West Texans are outraged that our Commander in Chief has not only created this unmitigated disaster at our southern border but is obstructing Gov. Greg Abbott from doing the job he himself has refused to do.

It is clear to any honest and objective person living in this country that President Joe Biden has willfully disregarded the laws of the land, abdicated his constitutional duty to provide for a common defense, and unilaterally surrendered control of our border to terrorist drug cartels.

But, adding insult to injury: not only is President Biden refusing to enforce our laws and secure our border, he is aggressively interfering with Gov. Abbott and the sovereign State of Texas’ efforts to do the job of the federal government.

When Texas constructed buoy barriers, Biden sued Texas, referencing an obscure law from the 1800s and suddenly listing mussels only found in the Rio Grande as “endangered.”

When Texas put up razor wire fence, Biden instructed his agents to cut it.

When Texas passed laws to break the chain of catch and release and criminalize illegal immigration, Biden sued again, claiming only the federal government can regulate immigration and our borders.

The fundamental question – and a question I believe will be answered by the Supreme Court – is this: “Can a state defend its border, protect its citizens, and enforce the laws when the federal government fails to do so?”

The Constitution is clear and unequivocal in answering that question.

Article 4 Section 4 says the federal government “shall protect each of [the states] against Invasion,” and Article 1 Section 10 gives states the sovereign power to repel an invasion and defend their citizenry from “imminent danger” that “will not permit delay.”

Our Founding Fathers enshrined in the Constitution states’ right to defend themselves – which makes sense, given they were rightfully wary of a central government!

I have introduced legislation, H. Res. 50, to affirm states’ rights to secure their borders and protect their citizens when the federal government fails to do so. Over 70 Members from over half of the states have supported H. Res. 50 and reiterated their belief that Texas is well within its constitutional authority to stop the chaos, secure the border, and protect Texans.

I know a few things to be true:

The state that fought and won its independence against another country is not going to play passive victim to a failed federal government.

The people of Texas are not going to ask Joe Biden for permission to protect its citizens and defend its border.

And, not only is the Constitution on our side – but the American people are on our side as well.

U.S. Rep. Jodey Arrington is a Republican from Lubbock serving the 19th Congressional District of Texas and chairman of the House Budget Committee.