The liberty principle for this Freedom Friday concerns the need for sovereign nations to protect their borders or lose control over who enters their country. It is a well-known fact that former President Donald Trump campaigned and governed on building a fence along the southern border. During the four years of his administration, more than 400 miles of fencing was constructed.
Daniel Horowitz explained that some of the newly constructed fencing replaced 373 miles of existing but “dilapidated or easy to breach fencing and added 80 miles of fencing where none previously existed.
… However, most of that fencing was in Arizona or in the El Paso sector, which includes far west Texas and New Mexico. Just 18 miles were completed in the Rio Grande Valley sector and zero miles were completed in the Del Rio and Laredo sectors, but 165 miles in those three sectors were under construction when Biden terminated the project. Del Rio, in particular, is a hot spot at this point.
The Biden administration not only stopped the construction on the fence to leave the border wide open, but its policies are direct invitations to “cartels and smugglers to bring in potentially millions of new migrants, along with cartel members, gangsters, and previously deported criminals.” Horowitz is questioning what the states can do when the federal government openly disregards the rights and safety of American citizens and communities as well as national security.
In January, I laid out the constitutional case for states to secure the border when the federal government is actively working against border security, one of the foundational purposes for the states to create a federal government in the first place. Now, one Texas lawmaker is introducing a bill that could serve as the impetus for states actually securing some degree of control over the border.
On Monday, Texas state Rep. Bryan Slaton filed HB 2862 which would fund the completion of the border wall in Texas with state funds. The bill requires the governor to request reimbursement from the federal government. Such an effort would bolster the existing Operation Lone Star, in which Gov. Greg Abbott has deployed the Texas Rangers to the border.
Texas is not the only state with increasing travel over the southern border. Sheriff Daniels of Cochise County told Horowitz that things are worse in his county now because the construction was stopped midway. Horowitz wrote that “Builders completely ripped out the old fencing to build new fencing, but now, with the construction halted, there is nothing there, and illegal immigrants and smugglers can cross over with cars and enjoy the newly built access roads.” He added the following explanation.
What’s worse is that in Cochise County, the infrastructure in the low water crossings was not completed, which means that when the heavy rains come in a few months, the foundations will be destroyed, making it much more expensive to rebuild. Meanwhile, time is of the essence, as Sheriff Daniels is now counting close to 3,000 runners detected on his cameras per month, up from just 400 a month a year ago. His sergeant, Tim Williams, who runs the camera system, tells me the department is only apprehending about 35% of them. Due to the rugged terrain and remote areas, those crossing in areas of the border like Cochise are mainly criminals and drug runners – not the sort of people you want disappearing into the interior.
Horowitz suggested that Arizona create its “own bill to complete at least the existing infrastructure of the border wall.” He also suggested that other red states appropriate money to help Texas and Arizona secure the border as they “shoulder the national burden.” States could “also crowdsource from private funds.”
It appears that the Biden administration and the Democrat-controlled Congress are not interested in national security. They intentionally stopped the Trump policies that led to border security, opened the borders, and invited citizens of the world to move into the United States.
Horowitz noted that action from red states “to complete the border wall would publicly embarrass the Biden administration and force an inflection point in our body politic” about the border in general. The states would be “forced to choose between anarchy and security” but “red states have no choice but to act before hundreds of thousands more teem through our border.” Horowitz interviewed Don McLaughlin, mayor of Uvalde, Texas, 60 miles into the interior from the Del Rio border with Mexico:
“The ranchers are getting confronted more and more, their fences are getting cut, and their land is being trashed by the migrants,” said the border mayor. “What’s concerning is that they are getting bolder and bolder about coming to your house and demanding you give them food, you give them transportation, and you give them money. It’s a powder keg that’s going to blow up – whether it be a local citizen, a local rancher, or one of these immigrants coming across the ranches, because they’re getting braver and braver. And some of them, to be honest, are very aggressive when they approach you. We’re seeing more aggressiveness now than we’ve ever seen before.”
The anarchy that spills over on our side of the border obviously bubbles up from the Mexican side. Even the Mexican government has become exasperated with Biden. As Reuters reports, Mexico President AMLO referred to Biden as the “migrant president,” and his government is concerned at how Biden’s policies have created a sophisticated market for organized crime up and down the smuggling routes of Mexico.
There is much talk about another civil war in the United States. There is great divide in the nation between conservatives who seek to protect and preserve the Constitution and leftists who seek to fundamentally transform America. Citizens may be suffering from whip lash caused by the changes in policies between the Trump and Biden administration, but the division remains. Will the next civil war be fought between red states and blue states over the illegal immigration problems? Horowitz suggested that the red states “work with Mexico to build the wall and make Biden pay for it!”