Last week, on or about January 10, 2024, the State of Texas took control of a very popular crossing point for illegal aliens in Eagle Pass, TX. Shelby Park is a city park on the US bank of the Rio Grande near the legal port of entry at Eagle Pass International Bridge. Using his executive powers as governor, Greg Abbot deployed Texas National Guard and Department of Public Safety (State Troopers) to Shelby Park, blocking access form the river to would-be illegal aliens. Governor Abbot also closed off the park from the US side, blocking access to the US Government (specifically, the US Border Patrol). Naturally, the Biden administration is unhappy with this. On Sunday, January 14, 2024, DHS General Counsel Jonathan Meyer wrote the following to Governor Abbot:
“We demand that Texas cease and desist in and around the Shelby Park area and remove all barriers to access in the Shelby Park area.
If you have not confirmed by the end of the day on January 17, 2024, that Texas will cease and desist its efforts to block Border Patrol’s access in and around the Shelby Park area and remove all barriers to access to the US-Mexico border, we will refer the matter to the Department of Justice for appropriate action and consider all other options available to restore Border Patrol’s access to the border.”
First, let me explain some of the operational implications to border security as regards Texas’ actions here: There really aren’t any. This is more of an inconvenience to both the Border Patrol and to the smuggling organizations than anything. Anytime access to a particular location along the US-Mexico border is denied, the smugglers just go to another spot. While this place might have been an easy crossing point for both smugglers and the Border Patrol, they will just go elsewhere. The Rio Grande acts as the US-Mexico border for about 1,000 miles in Texas; the Shelby Park area is a few thousand feet. Neither the smugglers nor the Biden administration is suffering any real deleterious impact to their operations and objectives, which are to make billions of dollars while displacing the rest of the world’s population into the US.
What Texas has accomplished here is a very public pushing back against a corrupt and dangerous Federal Government. Texas has finally asserted its right to protect its own sovereignty. President Biden, vis a vis Alejandro Mayorkas, vis a vis the US Border Patrol, have abandoned their oaths and their constitutional requirements to safeguard the sovereignty of the US…including Texas...and are allowing (purposefully) foreign organized crime syndicates (also called transnational criminal organizations) to control our border with Mexico and who and what crosses that border. Rather than use extant laws to stop this, our government (DHS/CBP/USBP) in concert with several non-governmental organizations (NGO) are not only encouraging and facilitating this criminal activity, they are enhancing it and making it more profitable. The US Government, along with federally funded NGOs, have become the largest and best organized human trafficking organization in history.
In the absence of the federal government protecting against invasion (Art IV, Sec 4 US Constitution), Texas opted to exercise its rights under the 10th Amendment and protect itself…if only in a very small piece of real estate. The question that Texas is posing to the US Government and to the rest of America is “whose sovereignty is it?” Does the US Government have sole discretion and ownership of the sovereignty of the US and the many states? Or do the states and the Americans in those states have a right to their own sovereignty? Is it the fate of the American people to suffer at the hands of a rogue and illegitimate US Government? Or do we have a right and obligation to preserve the nation that We The People established? The answer to all of these questions can be found in the establishment of our government: The US Government was created by the states and by the people of those states. The US Government did not create the states or the nation. In other words, the US Government belongs to the people of the US. If the US Government refuses to its job, then it is the right and obligation of the people and/or the states to do it.
Although Texas’ actions are about 2 ½ years late, it is better late than never. No one should look at this and think that Texas is fixing the border in Shelby Park. Rather, Texas is presenting itself as an example of how to fix the US Government.
For further consideration on this issue, here are two open letters I wrote back in September of 2021 that speak to the dereliction of the US Border Patrol and the rights and obligations of the people of Texas:
To the Men and Women of the United States Border Patrol:
Since May 28, 1924, the US Border Patrol has faithfully, skillfully, and honorably protected this country and the people who call it home from those who would do us harm from without. You, the men and women of the US Border Patrol, have performed this most noble duty with aplomb and endured hardships, privations, and peril to fulfill the US Government's contractual obligation to safeguard American sovereignty and protect the country from invasion. You have not only earned but exemplified the agency's motto: Honor First. As a retired member of your ranks, I am proud to thank you for your service and dedication.
You are now on the front line of the greatest failure of our government to uphold its sacred duty to this great nation. You have been instructed by feckless executives to ignore your oaths and deny your obligation to duty. You are not to blame for the disaster that has befallen our nation, but neither can you continue to contribute to it through obedience to what amounts to an illegitimate government and unlawful orders. As we have witnessed recently, any agent who deigns to uphold his/her oath and perform his/her duty to patrol the border and protect America is summarily assassinated by an ignorant and malevolent media corps and immediately persecuted by an equally ignorant and malevolent executive branch.
You have fulfilled your oaths and honored the Border Patrol legacy to the furthest extent possible. To continue obedient service to this corrupt and criminal government is not only useless; it is wrong. Walk away. Our corrupt and criminal government has no intention of protecting this nation or safeguarding its sovereignty and is using each of you to further our national demise. The best way for you to honor your oaths is to leave government service and apply your training, experience, and love for America outside the government. Your chain of command has abandoned and betrayed you and in so doing has abandoned and betrayed the country and the Constitution we all swore to protect "from enemies foreign and domestic." Don't further this government's destructive agenda by serving it. Uphold your oaths as citizens. Your country needs you; each and every one of you.
To the Citizens of Texas:
The US Government has not only failed but refused to protect you against invasion and secure the sovereignty of our nation as guaranteed in Article IV of the US Constitution. Because of this deliberate and insidious dereliction of duty, you have been harmed. Because of the so called Supremacy Clause of the US Constitution, the US Government claims sole authority and discretion with matters pertaining to securing our international borders. By abandoning its responsibility to do this, the US Government has jeopardized not only the State of Texas, but the entire nation and summarily surrendered that responsibility to the several states and the people residing therein.
Federal supremacy does not extend past the limits and guarantees of the US Constitution. As Americans, you have a God given right to defend yourselves and your property from invasion as well as to secure your own state's sovereignty. Article IV also establishes the equivalency of state and Federal authority: "The citizens of each state shall be entitled to all privileges and immunities of citizens in the several states." It is inconceivable that a state and its citizens be expected to sacrifice their sovereignty and wellbeing due to the unwillingness of the US
Government to uphold the US Constitution. It is your right in accordance with the 9th and 1oth
Amendments to the US Constitution to secure the border of your state with Mexico.
The US Government has abandoned and betrayed you and the rest of America in favor of a sinister and despotic political agenda and has demonstrated its willingness to sacrifice the lives and livelihoods of US Citizens in order to achieve it. You must protect yourselves, your property and your sovereignty... the rest of America will follow.
Todd Watkins is a contributor to www.ColoraodFreePress.com and the Vice Chairman of the El Paso County (CO) Republican Party. Todd retired from the US Border Patrol as an Assistant Chief on May 31, 2021 after 24 years of service.