Washington- The United States is witnessing an unprecedented crisis related to irregular immigrants, whose arrival and crossing at the southern border of the United States with Mexico does not stop at record rates, as the total income of US territory during the past month alone reached 300,000 people, that is, a rate approaching 10,000 immigrants per day.
With the failure of successive American administrations, both Republican and Democratic, to deal with the immigration issue, the four border states, California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas, resorted to separate measures to confront this crisis.
However, the state of Texas, at the initiative of its Republican governor, Greg Abbott, resorted to an old constitutional text that carries with it complications that may lead to confrontations between the states’ National Guard (the lightly armed state army) and elements of the immigration and border management agencies of the federal authorities.
The state's exposure to a situation called “invasion” allows for some exceptional measures for “self-defense”, which is the strategy it resorted to. Texas StateThis may prompt a confrontation that may go beyond its political and legal scope, which raises the fears of millions of Americans.
Al Jazeera Net presents in a question and answer the roots of this crisis, and the efforts made to avoid catastrophic scenarios at the beginning of a hot election season.
How did Texas reach this stage in confronting the American government?
Texas, which is controlled by Republicans, accuses the federal government of being under the rule of the President's administration joe bidenBy refusing to perform its duties to secure the country's southern border, including the Texas border extending 2,018 kilometers with Mexico, which has allowed 7 million irregular immigrants to enter American territory since Biden came to power.
Greg Abbott, Governor of Texas, considered that “the federal government has violated the agreement between the American state and the states. President Biden has issued instructions to his ministries to ignore federal laws that provide for the detention of illegal immigrants.”
Abbott ordered the state's National Guard to build border barriers and place massive barbed wire on the border, to prevent the influx Irregular immigrantswho says that they “are exhausting the state's schools, hospitals, and infrastructure, at a time when the state cannot provide them with health, social, and nutritional services.”
Abbott also prevented federal immigration forces and officials from entering areas adjacent to one of the largest border crossings in the state, Eagle Pass, on the grounds that they facilitate the entry of irregular immigrants into the state. He and a number of Republican state governors also shipped tens of thousands of immigrants to Democratic states and cities in North America, such as New York, Chicago, and Boston, which also created a crisis in these cities.
Who is responsible for managing and organizing the immigration file, immigrants, and border guarding in the United States?
The Constitution grants the federal government the authority to regulate naturalization, and the authority to regulate immigration and border security, but Congress is the body that passes laws that give the federal government the dominant role in immigration matters through its implementation of the laws. For decades, he has been unable Congress From enacting and approving any laws related to the immigration file, as a result of the great polarization between the two parties, and the desire of each party to exploit the issue to achieve narrow political and electoral interests.
Federal laws do not prevent the entry of irregular immigrants seeking asylum, which prompts hundreds of thousands of irregular immigrants to arrive at crossing points between Mexico and the United States, and demand to submit an application for asylum, in which case their presence becomes regular in the United States, pending a decision from a judge or court. Their asylum application is decided, which takes several years.
Although the US Constitution limits the right to deal with the immigration file and irregular immigrants to the federal government only, many states and cities, both Democratic and Republican, have taken administrative measures related to managing the immigrant file, some of which are supportive of the immigrants and obstruct the work of the federal authorities in tracking down violators among them.
Some cities have declared themselves “protection zones for irregular immigrants,” and in contrast, Republican state governors have taken decisions to ship thousands of irregular immigrants to Democratic states and cities that support immigrant rights.
What about Texas' claim of being invaded?
Constitutionally, any state has the right to resort to self-defense if it is exposed to an “invasion,” and the governor of Texas announced that his country was being invaded by hundreds of thousands of irregular immigrants, which he considered gave him the right to take exceptional measures to protect the borders of his state, and Abbott issued a statement confirming that “ “Texas' constitutional right to defend and protect itself, as President Joe Biden continues to refuse to perform his duties to secure the border.”
In an interview broadcast Saturday, January 27, with broadcaster Tucker Carlson on the In our arsenal to defend our state.”
Abbott confirmed that he had not spoken with the president about the current situation, but he had previously spoken with him on a larger scale about the border crisis. Abbott said that he had delivered 8 letters to President Biden with plans to confront the growing crisis at the border, but Biden “refused to respond to all the letters.”
But Article 1 of the Constitution, which Abbott relies on in his decision, limits the powers of the states, as it prohibits the states from “engaging in war” without the approval of Congress “unless they have already been invaded,” as this clause was adopted at a time when the American state had a small federal army. Organizing a congressional meeting took weeks, so the states were allowed to defend themselves from foreign invaders until federal forces arrived.
How did the White House respond to the Texas actions?
The Joe Biden administration resorted to the Supreme Court, which in turn supported Biden's position, and recently issued an order in which it overturned a lower court of appeals order preventing federal officers from cutting barbed wire barriers and removing barriers, thus affirming the federal government's right to remove them.
However, the Court did not indicate the need for the State of Texas to stop building fences and placing barriers, so it continued to do so, and the Court has not yet been subject to the State of Texas blocking and intentionally obstructing the ability of federal officials to operate in and around the Eagle Pass area in a manner inconsistent with the rule of law. federal.
The lack of explanation is one of the real issues with the Supreme Court, which issues such important rulings, and it is quite clear that Abbott is raising a battle over how far states can go to replace, not just supplement, federal law enforcement authority, until the Supreme Court answers conclusively. On all sides of the crisis, there remains the possibility of a violent confrontation between Texas state and federal officials.
Some Democratic representatives proposed the idea of federalizing the Texas National Guard, which is a rare exceptional measure that puts the state's forces under the command of the US President. Abbott responded by saying, “This would be a dangerous step on Biden's part. This is a complete disaster.”
President Biden also urged Congress to pass a border reform bill, and said he would be willing to “completely close the border” if it became crowded with migrants, pointing to negotiations taking place in the Senate about this dilemma.
Republicans insist on making changes in border policy as a condition for passing the stalled aid to Ukraine and Israel, within the framework of a proposed aid and arms package worth $110.5 billion.
As for the position of the other states, the Republican governors of 25 states supported the measures taken by the state of Texas to secure its borders, and the governors of 10 states pledged to send National Guard forces from their states to support the state of Texas, and they considered this a battle for the future of all of America.
What is the position of American public opinion on this issue?
Several recent polls have shown that voters strongly disapprove of Biden's handling of immigration, including a CBS poll that found 63% of respondents said they wanted the president to be tougher on the border.
A University of Texas poll also showed strong support for any measures to secure the border, showing that 61% of respondents, including 90% of Republicans, favor increasing funding to build the border wall and stop the entry of irregular immigrants.
What is Trump's position on this crisis?
Supports the former president Donald Trump The position of the state of Texas, however, he told some Republican senators in particular that he was “dissatisfied with the Republicans’ search for a deal that includes border security,” because it would give his rival Biden a political victory in the expected confrontation with him, in an issue regarding which Trump’s strict stance was considered one of the most important elements of attraction. Large groups of voters.
Trump has previously pledged to mass deport undocumented immigrants, and the Supreme Court has historically shown broad respect for the executive branch's immigration policies, regardless of whether those policies were established by Democratic or Republican presidents.
There are concerns that if Trump wins a second term, his policies could violate the rights of immigrants, unlike the current challenges to the Biden administration, which are framed more in terms of federal and state rights.
If what Texas is doing is giving states greater latitude to intervene in federal immigration policy, it is difficult to see why Democratic states would not follow the same strategy during the second Trump administration.