Combined agency statistics show an invasion at the border in March 2022, with the most significant number of illegal aliens crossing the Southwest border in U.S. recorded history this past month. The April 15 number reflects a crisis at the border, with historic combined statistics from three agencies totaling monthly encounters of 221,303 individuals at the Southwest Border. The agencies reporting were the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Office of Field Operations(OFO), and the U.S. Border Patrol (USBP).
The obligation to report is a result of an ongoing battle between plaintiffs (Texas and Missouri) and the Biden administration (Texas v. Biden) over the enforcement and implementation of the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) “in good faith.” An August injunction that would take effect on September 15, 2021, required that the Government must file a report stating, per the injunction:
(1) the total monthly number of encounters at the southwest border; (2) the total monthly number of aliens expelled under Title 42, Section 1225, or under any other statute; (3) Defendants’ total detention capacity as well as current usage rate; (4) the total monthly number of “applicants for admission” under Section 1225; (5) the total monthly number of “applicants for admission” under Section 1225 paroled into the United States; and (6) the total monthly number of “applicants for admission” under Section 1225 released into the United States, paroled or otherwise.
The mandated report from the U.S. Government found that the combined statistics totaled monthly encounters of 221,303 individuals at the Southwest Border. In March, the DHS reported 123,304 noncitizens were expelled under Title 42 and were “removed or returned under Title 8 authorities.” Of the total encounters at the border, 80,116 were released into the United States, “paroled or otherwise.”
Because of a looming threat by the Biden administration to remove Title 42, Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX) wrote a letter to DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, putting the DHS “on notice regarding the potentially disastrous implications of letting Trump-era border policies expire.” The March 29 letter states that the policies previously supported by the current administration “have empowered criminal drug cartels, impaired the health of Americans, damaged America’s economic health, allowed illegal migrants to destroy private property, and placed American citizens at imminent risk of physical harm,” —actions which could result in impeachable conduct on the part of the Secretary. Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) also sent a letter requesting the Biden administration rescind its order to lift Title 42 restrictions.
Roy believes that removing Title 42 will add insult to injury, causing “an immediate flood of illegal migration at our southern border, as well as the release of innumerable illegal migrants into the interior.” At the same time, communicable disease continues to be an issue at the border. In an April 5 interview with Dana Loesch, Roy said that no Democrats had signed his discharge petition, filed a year ago, to retain Title 42. A discharge petition requires 218 signatures to bring a bill to the floor. The interview is captured below:
We're currently seeing about 8,000 border encounters per day.
That's about to go up to as much as 18,000 per day thanks to the Biden Admin ending Title 42, warns @chiproytx.
— The First (@TheFirstonTV) April 6, 2022
According to Roy, a response from the DHS showed that 42 subjects on the terror watchlist were arrested for “attempt[ing] to enter the United States illegally.” Roy introduced H.R. 2600 in April. Called the Drug Cartel Designation Act, the bill would designate “Reynosa/Los Metros faction of the Gulf Cartel and the Cartel Del Noreste faction of Los Zetas as foreign terrorist organizations.” According to FOIAs obtained by Fox News, statistics from the Terrorist Screening Database (TDSB) show that at least 23 people were caught and flagged as known or suspected terrorists in 2021.
According to a response we received from @DHSgov last week, they’ve “arrested 42 subjects who were on the terror watchlist and attempted to enter the United States illegally. These numbers are inclusive of anyone who may be on the No-Fly List.” https://t.co/834WPAvAlS
— Chip Roy (@chiproytx) April 18, 2022
Roy has been a steadfast champion for Texans concerning border security. He has called for greater transparency from the Department of Homeland Security by requesting “full data” from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). In February, he also sponsored a short video documentary on Biden’s border crisis detailing the effects of the lack of enforcement at the border. The film was called “Texas Under Siege: The Human Toll of Biden’s Border Crisis.”
Do States Have A Right To Stop The Invasion?
Border states may need to explore other options in light of the administration’s apparent reluctance to stem the flow of illegal crossings at the Southwest border. Russ Vought, former Trump administration director of the Office of Management and Budget, is now president of a non-partisan grassroots organization called Citizens For Renewing America (CFRA). The nonprofit focuses on building networks of local activists to find solutions to pressing issues.
One of CFRA’s primary missions is to bolster U.S. sovereignty and border control issues. He believes that border states can no longer wait for federal solutions because the current administration clearly “advocates for open borders.” Citing the founders and the Constitution, Vought told The Capitol Report in February that the Texas and Arizona governors may legitimately be able to reframe the border crisis as an “invasion.”
“We look back at the Constitution, say, what did the founders mean when they looked at an invasion. It wasn’t just foreign nation-states. It was bandits, gangs, and large groups of people that it was hard to get a handle on from a security standpoint. And we’ve said that constitutes an invasion that the Constitution then says there are self-help provisions to allow them to defend their people and keep them safe.”
Vought also mentioned a Feb. 7 opinion written by Arizona’s Attorney General Mark Brnovich. Vought said Brnovich’s opinion concurs with the notion that the border crisis has risen to the level of a legitimate invasion. The groundbreaking statement argues that states have a sovereign power of self-defense when invaded, especially when the federal government fails to uphold its obligation to protect the states.
The Brnovich opinion makes significant inroads toward defining the nature of invasions in modern times. Also, it solidifies the case that the federal government has failed “intentionally or unintentionally—to uphold its obligations to protect” Arizona from invasion under Article lV, Section 4 of the U.S. Constitution. CFRA is hoping to see a similar opinion from AG Paxton in Texas in the near future.
UncoverDC spoke with Vought’s Executive Director, Wade Miller, about CFRA’s initiative to use Article lV, Section 4 of the U.S. Constitution to overcome some of the restrictions set forth in federal immigration law. Federal immigration law makes it exceedingly difficult for states to help protect their borders. Cases like Arizona v. the U.S. and the Flores decision, says Miller, effectively “neutered the ability of states to be innovative and enforce federal immigration law.”
We would argue that “The President is not upholding Article 4, Section 4, which is a mandate that the President protect states from invasion, and we are defining invasion broadly here. Most people think of it only as some kind of war,” Miller explained, “— like two nation-states going at it like Ukraine or Russia. We are using the term broadly as it applies to unwanted entrance to another domain.”
“And in this case,” Miller continued, ” there are violent components. Cartels and transnational gangs whose game is to use massive movements of people in order to facilitate what they’re trying to do. Many Americans are being harmed by this. The cartels are abusing our system. Our systems are being overburdened‚— hospital systems, school systems, social services. All of this constitutes an invasion” in modern terms.
When asked how this would be implemented, Miller stated that it would start with Republican governors. The adoption of policies in Texas and Arizona could influence decisions in the other two southern border states. Paired with potential legislation in Texas and Arizona to beef up funding for the initiative to pay for additional personnel, governors Ducey and Abbott could invoke Article 1, Section 10, Clause 3 of the Constitution, which would empower them to go around federal immigration law justified by the imminent danger being posed by the “invasion” of their states’ borders. CFRA has already met with Arizona and Texas legislatures to float their concept.
“We wouldn’t, for instance,” said Miller, “Use the term deportation under this exercise of authority because it’s not federal immigration law— it’s not immigration law at all. It’s an invasion power. It’s an invasion declaration that empowers a governor, as commander-in-chief of the state, state forces, and state law enforcement. A governor would have the ability to expel and return people immediately at the border back into Mexico… It would include wellness checks; we would give them food and water but then take them right back across the border to the nearest available spot.”
Miller says that “it isn’t just Democrats who stand in the way of border security. It’s also a lot of Republicans.” He has yet to see either Ducey or Abbott take the steps necessary to legitimately fund and support border policies that will genuinely protect the citizens in their states. Miller says CFRA will probably have an important ally if candidate Kari Lake wins the governor’s seat in the upcoming election. Lake, who is arguably the front-runner in the race, has adopted CFRA’s border policy suggestions almost word-for-word, as articulated on her Kari Lake for Governor website.