Just three days after newly re-elected Texas Gov. Greg Abbott invoked the “invasion clause” to deal with the border crisis, it was reported the Republican was set to up the ante with the cartels by bringing in some serious military hardware.
On Friday, a Texas Tribune/Military Times report said Abbott’s “border mission is set to include armored personnel carriers designed to carry troops into battle alongside tanks, according to a planning document.”
“The order issued Thursday by Texas Military Department officials to the headquarters overseeing Operation Lone Star reveals that the National Guard will soon deploy 10 M113 armored personnel carrier vehicles to the border,” the report continued.
“According to the order, around 50 soldiers will be trained to operate the vehicles, and state officials will identify 10 positions to station them along the border.”
In addition, the Texas Military Department said in a statement that the Texas National Guard would be conducting more aircraft flights and tightening security along the border.
“These actions are part of a larger strategy to use every available tool to fight back against the record-breaking level of illegal immigration,” the department said, according to the Tribune/Times report.
“The Texas National Guard is taking unprecedented measures to safeguard our border and to repel and turn-back immigrants trying to cross the border illegally.”
While Abbott was one of the first governors to realize the border crisis was getting out of hand under President Joe Biden’s administration — starting Operation Lone Star in March 2021 to repel increasing numbers of illegal immigrants at the southern border — he’s resisted calling it an invasion until Tuesday’s tweet.
As he announced he was invoking the “invasion clause” of the state and U.S. constitutions, he added that he was going to be deploying the National Guard to turn back illegal immigrants, using the Texas Department of Public Safety to arrest those who had already crossed the border illegally for deportation, building a border wall in several counties, deploying gunboats, designating cartels as terrorist organizations and taking other measures.
Abbott said he was doing so to “fully authorize Texas to take unprecedented measures to defend our state against an invasion.”
I invoked the Invasion Clauses of the U.S. & Texas Constitutions to fully authorize Texas to take unprecedented measures to defend our state against an invasion.
I’m using that constitutional authority, & other authorization & Executive Orders to keep our state & country safe: pic.twitter.com/2Jt5HEMgp5
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) November 15, 2022
“That clause for invasion, it just opens up the door for more ability of the state government to take actions that in the past, immigration has been a federal government problem,” said Ari Jimenez, a retired special agent in charge of the San Antonio area homeland security division, according to KEYE-TV in Austin, Texas.
“What I saw what is new, he was more in terms of agreement with other countries,” Jimenez added.
“And this is important because Texas does not have right now [an] extradition agreement with any country. Those are usually at the federal government level.”
Texas officials concerned about border security lauded the move.
“Kinney County is pleased with the Governor’s acknowledgement of an ‘invasion’ occurring on our border with Mexico and hopeful that he will soon take all necessary steps in deploying state military and law enforcement to repel it,” Brent Smith, the Kinney County attorney, said in a statement.
“We urge him to invoke those constitutional authorities he cites in his November 14th letter to County Judges, to secure our border and protect Texans.”
NEW: Thermal drone video from our team in Eagle Pass, TX shows a large group of migrants crossing illegally into private property early this morning.
Per CBP source, there have been over 1,400 illegal crossings in the Del Rio sector in the last 24 hours & 69,000 since 10/1. pic.twitter.com/N1FjKVVuDa
— Bill Melugin (@BillFOXLA) November 17, 2022
Now those looking for increased border security will have some serious hardware lending a helping hand.
“Armored personnel carriers like the M113 are designed to carry infantry troops across modern battlefields alongside tanks,” the Tribune/Times report said.
“They can be equipped with a range of weapons: heavy machine guns, grenade launchers, antitank missiles or even large cannons similar to those mounted on tanks,” it said. “It’s not clear what weapons, if any, will be on the Texas Guard’s M113s at the border.
“Such vehicles are by definition bulletproof and can withstand small explosions. In the civilian world, lighter, wheeled armored personnel carriers are sometimes used to carry police SWAT teams.”
Well, good. The cartels don’t play around. Neither should Texas.
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