DAVIS: Want To Alleviate The Border Crisis? Follow Texas’ Blueprint

REUTERS/Marco Bello

Will Davis Contributor
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Texas has faced a historic assault on its sovereignty over the past three years, but measures they have taken to secure their border are producing tangible results.

No state has been more affected by the ongoing crisis at the southern border than Texas, with thousands of illegal aliens routinely crossing its border on a daily basis since the Biden Administration took office. The state has spent the past three years asking the federal government for help but has largely been ignored. So, the Lone Star state has taken matters into its own hands, and while the results have been far from perfect, the state’s policies are clearly making a positive impact.

In its most recent legislative session, Texas passed a bill cracking down on illegal immigration, allowing state authorities to arrest illegal aliens. While the law is currently on hold pending review by the courts, it has succeeded in reframing the terms of the immigration debate and inspired other states to take similar actions to defend themselves. Nearly identical pieces of legislation have passed in Idaho and Oklahoma, and it’s a safe bet that more states will ultimately follow.

Even as the federal government has sought to weaken security at the southern border by cancelling construction of the border wall, the Texas state legislature has approved funding to build one of its own. The state has also set up razor wire at the border in an attempt to repel the ongoing invasion, leading the Biden Administration to take legal action to have the wire torn down. While the administration received a favorable ruling at the Supreme Court on the matter, Texas has stood its ground, and the wire has remained up. The sum of all of these actions has been a significant decrease in illegal crossings in Texas sectors.

In February, illegal crossings in Eagle Pass, the Texas city most besieged by the crisis, declined by 76% percent from December 2023 and reached its lowest point since 2021. Arrests of illegal aliens in the Rio Grande Valley declined by 60 percent and reached its lowest point since 2020. As the Texas Tribune reported: “The five Border Patrol sectors in Texas historically recorded more migrant encounters than the four sectors in other states along the U.S.-Mexico border. So far in 2024, each month has seen more encounters in the non-Texas sectors.”

Indeed, while the illegal immigration crisis continues to wreak havoc throughout the country, the data shows that Texas’ policies have forced many illegal aliens to move West. While crossings are down in the Texas sectors, they are skyrocketing elsewhere. Earlier in 2024, Tucson, Arizona, became the go-to spot for illegal aliens entering the U.S., with more than 250,000 apprehensions reported during the first four months of fiscal year 2024. In April, San Diego experienced more illegal crossings than any other sector in the country, according to Border Patrol. The reason illegal aliens are increasingly choosing to cross into the country through sectors in California and Arizona is simple: Texas has taken concrete steps to fortify security at its border, while California and Arizona have not.

None of this is to say that all is well in Texas. The state is still experiencing major strain because of the border crisis, but their actions have been able to alleviate the pain, even if just a little bit. The Lone Star State is demonstrating what people on every side of the immigration debate know to be true. The only way to reduce the flow of illegal aliens is to enact more security measures at the border and create legal consequences for those who enter our country illegally. 

While it is a core responsibility of the federal government under the Constitution and the law to secure the border, states have recourse to protect their citizens if the federal government abdicates this responsibility, as they have done for the past three years. It is patently unfair that Texas has been forced to take these measures to defend itself, but they have created a clear blueprint for other states under siege to follow. While a patchwork of state laws cannot fill the void created by a derelict federal government, Texas has proven that states have both the duty and the authority to act to protect their citizens from the effects of illegal immigration.

The crisis at the southern border is the biggest threat to the sovereignty and security of the American people in the modern history of the country. If the rest of the country is looking for a way out of the crisis, they should follow Texas’ lead.

William J. Davis is a communications associate for the Immigration Reform Law Institute, a public interest law firm working to defend the rights and interests of the American people from the negative effects of mass migration.

The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of the Daily Caller.