Former Trump administration officials have urged Gov. Greg Abbott, R-Texas, to declare an "invasion" along the southern border and give thousands of state troopers and National Guard members increased authority to deny migrants entry.
KSAT 12 News reported that the officials' plan involves a fresh interpretation of the U.S. Constitution to enable the National Guard or state police to pick up where federal authorities leave off when Title 42 ends.
Tom Homan, acting director for Immigration and Customs Enforcement under then-President Donald Trump, said he spoke with Abbott at a border security conference in San Antonio last week.
"We've had discussions with his attorneys in his office, 'Is there a way to use this clause within the Constitution where it talks about invasion?' " Homan said during the Border Security Expo.
Homan gave no indication whether Abbott supported the idea. On Tuesday, however, the former Trump administration official described the response from the governor's office as "noncommittal but willing to listen," KSAT reported.
The Center for Renewing America, a conservative policy think tank led by former Trump administration officials, is driving the effort to empower border officials to do what has been a federal responsibility.
Ken Cuccinelli, a former Homeland Security official under Trump, argued that states are entitled to defend themselves from immediate danger or invasion, as it is defined by the "invasion clause," under the "states self-defense clause," KSAT said.
Abbott, who'll be running for reelection in November, on Wednesday was set to announce "unprecedented actions" to deter migrants coming to Texas.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Friday that the Biden administration will end Title 42, Trump-era pandemic restrictions that effectively blocked migrants from entering the U.S., on May 23, CNN reported.
Abbott already had begun installing more border barriers and allowing troopers to arrest migrants on trespassing charges.
House Republicans have warned about an impending rush to the southern border by 18,000 migrants per day after Title 42 ends.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., said that Border Patrol agents were seeing high numbers of illegal migrants attempting to cross the border today and 55% are being sent back under Title 42.
"That's all going away in about six weeks," McCarthy said. "It's going to only ask for more to come. We are already seeing mayhem down along the border."
Gov. Doug Ducey, R-Ariz., also has been under pressure from fellow state GOP members to use extraordinary powers to stop the migrant invasion.
Ducey, who's not running this year, has not embraced the theory suggested by Homan and others, and has avoided commenting on it directly.
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