Over 30 Republican members of Congress signed a letter to President Joe Biden on Thursday calling on him to fulfill his constitutional duty to defend the U.S. from invasion at the southern border with Mexico.
Border Patrol officers apprehended over 234,000 migrants crossing into the U.S. illegally in April.
In fiscal year 2021 there were a record 1.7 million encounters, and since the current fiscal year began in October, approximately 1.3 million illegal immigrants have been apprehended.
“The United States is experiencing an unprecedented and entirely avoidable crisis along our southern border with Mexico,” Rep. Troy Nehls of Texas wrote in the letter to Biden.
“As head of the Executive Branch, it is your responsibility to uphold Article IV, Section 4 of the United States Constitution and protect Americans from invasion at our southern border.”
Article IV, Section 4 provides, “The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government, and shall protect each of them against Invasion.”
Nehls then made the case that the U.S. is currently experiencing an invasion that has led to the deaths of many Americans.
“Border ranchers are experiencing violence firsthand as cartel members, who are dressed in camouflage and carrying weapons to protect their drug loads, march over the border and across their lands. Some ranchers have experienced over 15 armed drug traffickers on their property at one time,” the letter said.
NEW: 31 illegal immigrants dressed in camouflage were found being smuggled in a trailer in Reeves County in west Texas. US citizen driver arrested by @TxDPS with assistance from TX Game Wardens & US Border Patrol. Illegal immigrants referred to Border Patrol. @FoxNews pic.twitter.com/u5CZRgW0b5
— Bill Melugin (@BillFOXLA) April 27, 2022
The Republican House members noted that 11,201 pounds of fentanyl were seized at the border in FY 2021, a 134 percent increase from the previous year when former President Donald Trump was in office.
“These record amounts of illicit drugs have tragically resulted in more than 100,000 Americans dying from drug overdoses and fentanyl poisoning at the hands of the cartels since you have taken office,” the letter stated.
TX: I’m in the Big Bend Sector today talking with a sheriff in the Brewster County.
Border patrol in this sector along with Van Horn agents, just released this image and details of the apprehension of 20 migrants attempting to hide in the brush wearing camouflage clothing. pic.twitter.com/cBfLQ3Hm5j
— Ali Bradley (@AliBradleyTV) February 3, 2022
“Due to your failure to uphold your Constitutional duty, states are beginning to interpret whether the Constitution gives them the right to defend themselves,” Nehls wrote.
“Specifically, Article I, Section 10 of the United States Constitution, known as the State Self-Defense Clause, ‘reserves to the States the sovereign power to repel invasion and defend their citizenry from overwhelming and imminent danger.’”
Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich issued a legal opinion in February concluding his state is being invaded and therefore can defend itself, given the federal government has failed to do so.
“The on-the-ground violence and lawlessness at Arizona’s border caused by cartels and gangs is extensive, well-documented, and persistent. It can satisfy the definition of ‘actually invaded’ and ‘invasion’ under the U.S. Constitution,” he argued.
“Two conclusions flow from this. First, the federal government has a duty to protect Arizona under the Invasion Clause. Second, Arizona retains the independent authority under the State Self-Defense Clause to defend itself when actually invaded,” Brnovich said.
“The federal government’s failure to secure the border and protect Arizona from invasion is dangerous and unprecedented.
“Thankfully, the Founders foresaw that States might need to protect themselves from invasion and made clear in the Constitution that States retain the sovereign power to defend themselves within their own territory,” Brnovich concluded.
Nehls ended his letter to Biden by saying his failure to act is costing American lives.
The Republican urged the president to fulfill his constitutional duty and “take immediate steps to address this serious crisis and protect America from invasion.”
Some of the other signatories to the letter were Reps. Andy Biggs and Debbie Lesko of Arizona; Reps. Ronny Jackson, Louie Gohmert, Chip Roy, Pete Sessions and Dan Crenshaw of Texas; Rep. Tom McClintock of California and Rep. Lauren Boebert of Colorado.
A version of this article originally appeared on Patriot Project.
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