Joint Statement on House Bill 20
House Bill 20 by State Representative Matt Schaefer rightfully acknowledges the invasion at the Texas Border and the authority of Texas to confront it. The bill clearly recognizes the authority of states to invoke Article I, Section 10, Clause 3 of the United States Constitution to repel illegal border crossings and return those who cross illegally back to the other side of the Rio Grande. This bill seeks to give Texas the tools and explicit statutory authority to repel the invasion at our border and end the crisis perpetuated by the Biden Administration. However, we have some serious concerns that the bill’s language may serve to undermine its purpose.
First, it seems to make the invasion powers subject to the authority of federal immigration law (Title 8), however, such language would undermine enforcement of these provisions and pigeonhole this section of the bill into the precedent set in Arizona v. U.S. The entire point of Article I, Section 10, Clause 3 is that these powers are NOT subject to congressional authority when a state is “actually invaded, or in such imminent danger as will not admit of delay.”
The simple removal of the language delegating powers vested to the states under Article I, Section 10 be subject to federal immigration law would eliminate this concern.
In addition, the requirement to observe an illegal crossing and arrest/detain in the “immediate vicinity” of the border would unnecessarily limit the scope of removal authority to a tiny fraction of illegal crossings. We suggest broadening the scope of this provision to include illegal aliens like those who are being arrested every day under Operation Lone Star.
Texans for Strong Borders and the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) applaud Rep. Schaefer for authoring this legislation to secure our border and give Texas the power to repel and remove illegal aliens from the state. However, we assert if these changes are not adopted, the effectiveness of this crucial legislation may be significantly hampered.
About Texans for Strong Borders
Texans for Strong Borders exists to advance sane immigration policies in the best interest of citizens. Our organization provides policymakers with resources to make informed decisions and as a conduit for the grassroots to engage with elected officials. We believe in stopping illegal immigration and a legal immigration policy that serves the interests of Americans. Find out more at StrongBorders.org.