Texas Republican Governor Greg Abbott has authorized the state National Guard members to arrest people who illegally cross the Texas-Mexico border.
“The Texas National Guard is playing an unprecedented role to secure the border because of the unprecedented refusal of the federal government to fulfill its obligations under federal law,” Abbott said in a statement on Tuesday.
Last month Abbott wrote a letter to the Texas Military Department asking for help “in arresting those who are violating state law. … I hereby order that the Texas National Guard assist DPS in enforcing Texas law by arresting lawbreakers at the border.”
As “Commander-in-Chief of the military forces of the State” under Article IV, Section 7 of the Texas Constitution, the governor can “call forth the militia to execute the laws of the State.” Section 431.111 of the Texas Government Code likewise recognizes that the governor can call on state military forces “to enforce state law” and “to assist civil authorities in guarding [or] conveying prisoners.” And Section 437.002 of the Texas Government Code recognizes that “[t]he governor has full control and authority over all matters relating to the Texas military forces.”