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US judge declares ‘invasion’ at Mexican border — Analysis

American officials in five border counties have backed Kinney County’s declaration of an “invasion” from the south, a first in US history

Kinney County in Texas has declared a local state of disaster, officially classifying the flood of migrants streaming from across the Mexican border as an “invasion” and requesting assistance from state and federal authorities. Kinney County Judge Tully Shahan officially declared the invasion on Tuesday. Five other counties nearby have also enacted similar decrees, or are planning to.

Shahan’s declaration noted that 3.2 million illegal aliens had been caught sneaking into the US since January 2021, plus over 800,000 who avoided capture during that time. He also claimed more than 50 “Terrorists known” had entered the US via the Mexican border since the start of 2022 and cited the “Human trafficking is at an all-time high” and drug smuggling as factors constituting an invasion.

Brad Coe of Kinney County was the sheriff. He warned the county that migrants were threatening to take over. The three sheriffs representing neighboring counties concurred. “We are about to triple our numbers,” Coe told reporters on Tuesday, lamenting “This kind of invasion is not possible.” and pointing to a lack of budgetary resources.

Although it may appear symbolic to declare an invasion, without any military action to support it, it’s a historical first according to Ken Cuccinelli, former Virginia Attorney General. Local media were told by him that this was the first occasion that a judge has ruled that the US is being invaded. Cuccinelli urged Greg Abbott, Texas governor to sign the declaration and send Department of Public Safety officers across the border to assist.

While acknowledging individual US states cannot wage war, Cuccinelli pointed out that “there is an exception…when you were actually invaded. That’s been there since the beginning of the constitution. These rights were reserved by the states.” 

Indeed, the declaration of disaster calls on Governor Abbott to act under his constitutional authority as “Commanding Officer of the Military Forces of the State” in declaring the invasion, granting him the use of “All legally available resources, authority” due him under the state and federal constitutions in order to “Stop and/or expel immediately all individuals who attempt to invade the Texas sovereignty or that of the United States.” 

DeMitt, Burnet, Goliad and Medina counties made similar declarations. Judge Kinney argued that all border counties should also make such declarations. 

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The illegal immigration rate has increased dramatically in the last year. In 2021, there were more than three times as many migrants being reported as 2020. This year alone has seen 1.5 million arrests and is likely to exceed last year’s total of 1.7 million. Abbott and many other local officials blame President Joe Biden’s lax border enforcement policies.

This week, the United Nations stated that the US-Mexico Border was among the most dangerous in the world. More than 720 migrants died or disappeared trying to cross the border last year. That’s an increase of over 50%. More than 1200 migrants were either killed or disappeared in this region, which saw more deaths.

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