Texas Gov. Greg Abbott Just Took His War With the Feds to the Next Level

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Even a ruling from the nation’s highest court doesn’t seem to be enough to deter Texas’s governor from fooling around at the border.

On Wednesday, Texas Governor Greg Abbott amped the situation up a notch, declaring the influx of immigrants over the border an “invasion”—a status that Abbott claimed supersedes federal mandates—while shipping more members of the Texas National Guard to erect more concertina wire along the Rio Grande section of the U.S.-Mexico border.

That move appeared to openly defy a Supreme Court ruling made on Monday, which sided with the Biden administration that Texas had overstepped its authority by placing the wire in such a way that federal agents could no longer access the border.

“Texas’ razor wire is an effective deterrent against the illegal border crossings encouraged by Biden’s open border policies,” Abbott said in a post on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter. “We continue to deploy this razor wire to repel illegal immigration.”

The online defiance came part and parcel with an eyebrow-raising interview on Fox News on Thursday, in which Abbott dodged a point-blank question about the state’s standoff with federal agents.

“Will you instruct your officers to physically prevent federal officers from accessing that part of the border?” asked host Bill Hemmer.

“So, what Texas is doing is just very simple. And that is because the Biden administration has really, truly, abdicated this responsibility to secure the border and enforce the laws, Texas very simply is securing the border,” Abbott responded, remarkably not saying no. “So we put up the razor wire that you were talking about, Bill, and put up all these barricades that have denied illegal entry.”

But then Abbott seemed to imply that his state wasn’t done attempting to litigate its case, suggesting that it would return in new form to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.

“The case that was presented to the United States Supreme Court actually did not have very much of a record upon which an appellate could make a decision,” Abbott continued. “So, those who may not have voted in favor of Texas, or those who voted to send it back to the Fifth Circuit, they may have thought in their mind that there’s not enough record to make a decision.”

“There were no sentences or paragraphs or pages of an opinion written by the Supreme Court. So no one knows at all what they were thinking. All we know is they wanted to send it back to the Fifth Circuit,” he added.

“Texas has a constitutional right to defend and protect itself,” Abbott posted on X after the interview. “We will continue to hold the line.”

The 5–4 decision, which was issued on Monday without an opinion, as is the norm in cases of emergency applications, was initially believed to be the cap on a monthslong spar between Texas Governor Greg Abbott and the federal government over elements of the state’s anti-immigration effort, dubbed “Operation Lone Star.” In October, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton announced his initial lawsuit against the Biden administration, claiming that federal agents were unlawfully destroying elements of the state’s border deterrence efforts and “damaging Texas’s ability to effectively deter illegal entry into Texas.”

The case was granted an emergency request filed by the Biden administration, which argued that the wire was preventing federal agents from accessing the border and from reaching migrants who had already crossed the border.