Democrats Urge Biden to Assert Federal Control over Texas National Guard

A political storm is brewing over the deployment of the Texas National Guard along the state’s southern border. Democratic Representatives Joaquin Castro and Greg Casar, both from Texas, have urged President Joe Biden to assert federal control over the Texas National Guard. They claim that Texas Governor Greg Abbott is in defiance of a recent Supreme Court ruling by continuing to position these troops at the border and construct barriers with concertina wire aimed at curbing illegal immigration.

In a social media post on January 23, 2024, Rep. Castro asserted, “Governor Greg Abbott is using the Texas National Guard to obstruct and create chaos at the border. If Abbott is defying yesterday’s Supreme Court ruling, @POTUS needs to establish sole federal control of the Texas National Guard now.”

The following day, Rep. Casar echoed Castro’s sentiments, stating, “Greg Abbott has continued to use political stunts and inflammatory language to advance his own agenda, violating the Constitution and endangering both U.S. citizens and asylum seekers. … I agree with @JoaquinCastrotx: if Abbott is defying yesterday’s Supreme Court ruling, @POTUS needs to establish sole federal control of the Texas National Guard.”

In response to these allegations, Governor Abbott issued a statement on Wednesday accusing President Biden of breaching his oath of office and contributing to an “illegal immigration invasion” of Texas. He argued that the Executive Branch has a constitutional obligation to enforce federal laws that protect states, including current immigration laws.

Abbott claimed, “President Biden has instructed his agencies to ignore federal statutes that mandate the detention of illegal immigrants. The failure of the Biden Administration to fulfill the duties imposed by Article IV, § 4 has triggered Article I, § 10, Clause 3, which reserves to this State the right of self-defense. For these reasons, I have already declared an invasion under Article I, § 10, Clause 3 to invoke Texas’s constitutional authority to defend and protect itself. That authority is the supreme law of the land and supersedes any federal statutes to the contrary.”

This dispute arises in the wake of a Supreme Court decision earlier this week, which by a 5-4 vote lifted an injunction prohibiting U.S. Border Patrol agents from cutting through Texas’s concertina wire positioned along the border.