What is the Invasion Clause? Texas Guv Greg Abbott invokes constitutional clause amid immigration crisis

In a letter sent to President Biden on November 16, Abbott accused the administration of ignoring the influx of illegal immigrants in the southern states

What is the Invasion Clause? Texas Guv Greg Abbott invokes constitutional clause amid immigration crisis
Texas Governor Greg Abbott invoked the invasion clauses of the US and Texas constitutions to protect the state against illegal migrants (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
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AUSTIN, TEXAS: Greg Abbott has invoked the invasion clauses of the US and Texas constitutions to protect the state against illegal migrants coming across the southern border. He wrote on Twitter, “I invoked the Invasion Clauses of the US & Texas Constitutions to fully authorize Texas to take unprecedented measures to defend our state against an invasion. I'm using that constitutional authority, & other authorization & Executive Orders to keep our state & country safe.” 

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In a letter sent to President Joe Biden on Wednesday, November 16, 2022, Abbott accused the administration of ignoring the ongoing mass influx of illegal immigrants into the country's southern states. He wrote, "Your inaction has led to catastrophic consequences. Under your watch, America is suffering the highest volume of illegal immigration in the history of our country. This past year, more than 2 million immigrants tried to enter the country illegally, coming from more than 100 countries across the globe. Worse yet, your failed border policies recently prompted a United Nations agency to declare that the border between the United States and Mexico is the deadliest land crossing in the world."

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The governor further added, “You must reinstate the policies that you eliminated, or craft and implement new policies, in order to fulfill your constitutional duty to enforce federal immigration laws and protect the States against invasion. Two years of inaction on your part now leave Texas with no choice but to escalate our efforts to secure our State. Your open-border policies, which have catalyzed an unprecedented crisis of illegal immigration, are the sole cause of Texas having to invoke our constitutional authority to defend ourselves.”

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What is the Invasion Clause?

The invasion clause is found in Article 1, Section 10 of the Constitution. According to Constitution Annotated, it states that “No state shall, without the consent of Congress, lay any duty of tonnage, keep troops or ships of war in time of peace, enter into any agreement or compact with another state or with a foreign power or engage in war, unless actually invaded, or in such imminent danger as will not admit of delay.”

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