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Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick (R) has declared the state’s intention to continue erecting razor wire and fencing along the U.S.-Mexico border. This statement comes despite a recent Supreme Court order that permits federal law enforcement to dismantle barriers constructed by the state.
Speaking with Fox News, Lieutenant Governor Patrick emphasized Texas’ commitment to border security, stating, “We are putting up wire, Martha, everywhere we can. We will continue. We will not stop. If they cut it, we will replace it.”
This comes as Texas and the federal government are in a dispute over a section of the border near Eagle Pass, Texas, where tensions between state and federal authorities are escalating over control and security. The Supreme Court’s decision grants the federal government authority to remove Texas-erected barriers to maintain unimpeded access to the border for federal law enforcement. Despite this, Patrick warned of a potential “confrontation” should the Biden administration attempt to remove these barriers.
Governor Greg Abbott (R-Texas) has taken a firm stance, asserting that the state can counteract what he deems an “invasion.” He argues that state authority in this matter “supersedes” federal law. Abbott’s view is supported by GOP governors from approximately two dozen states. At the same time, some Democrats have urged President Biden to nationalize the Texas National Guard to enforce the removal of state barriers and uphold federal border access.
Abbott has cited the “compact theory,” a historically discredited notion of state supremacy, to justify the state’s actions against federal law and the Supreme Court’s decision. This theory, which was used to rationalize Confederate states’ secession during the Civil War, has been repeatedly rejected by the Supreme Court since its inception in the early years of the US.