On Thursday, Republican Gov. Greg Abbott of Texas signed six new bills designed to fight illegal immigration and secure the state’s border with Mexico.
At the bill signing ceremony, Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steve McCraw made it clear which groups the new legislation targeted.
“Today, public enemy number one is the Mexican cartels, and they impact every community in Texas and the United States,” Director McCraw said, according to a news release from the governor’s office.
In September 2022, Gov. Abbott issued an executive order that designated Mexican drug cartels “foreign terrorist organizations.”
Director McCraw’s description of the cartels as “public enemy number one” both amplifies the governor’s language and identifies the rationale for the new legislation.
Another important statement of Texas’s determination came from the state’s Adjutant General of Texas Major General Thomas Suelzer.
“Texas is extremely fortunate to have a Governor who is absolutely relentless in his actions to protect our state’s sovereignty, secure our border, and preserve the rule of law,” Suelzer said, according to the news release.
Our state’s sovereignty.
In sounds not always pleasing to the ear, the phrase “state sovereignty” has echoed across more than two centuries of United States history. It has been used to justify abominations, such as slavery and segregation.
State sovereignty, however, does not mean slavery or segregation. It means that the sovereign people, in their wisdom, have given some power to the federal government and some power to the state governments, not as subordinates but as coordinate members of a federal union.
It also means that when the federal government threatens the liberties of the people, in this case by refusing to protect their national border, the people have recourse to the state governments, which, like the federal government, derive ALL authority from the sovereign people.
In 1798, only seven years after the adoption of the Bill of Rights, the U.S. Congress tried to eviscerate the First Amendment by passing the notorious Alien and Sedition Acts. Thomas Jefferson and James Madison responded by urging the state legislatures of Kentucky and Virginia to take action on behalf of the people.
Jefferson and Madison argued that when the federal government, in clear defiance of its obligations, tramples the people’s liberties, the states, individually or collectively, are duty-bound to intercede.
The federal government has a clear responsibility to protect the nation’s borders. If the corrupt current occupants of federal elective offices refuse to carry out this responsibility, then the states must do so themselves.
Pleas to the Biden administration have gone unanswered.
Menaced by the drug cartels, the people of Texas have no choice but to protect themselves. They have both a natural and a constitutional right to do so.
As they do, they should take comfort in knowing that the doctrine of state sovereignty originated in a principled defense of liberty.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.