Former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley is backing Texas Gov. Greg Abbott in his legal battle with the Biden administration over his efforts to address the continuing crisis at the southern border.
“Governor Abbott is right: the state of Texas has every right to defend itself and its borders,” Haley told Fox News Digital in a statement on Thursday.
“It’s absolutely ridiculous that the President of the United States is trying to stop governors from doing everything they can to protect their citizens. But it’s also nothing new; Joe Biden was part of the Administration that sued me when I passed one of the toughest anti-illegal immigration laws in the country as governor of South Carolina.”
Abbott is currently fighting multiple legal battles with the Biden administration. The federal government has threatened legal action over Texas’ seizure of Shelby Park near Eagle Pass, while lawsuits are ongoing over the administration’s cutting of razor wire set up by Texas and the establishment of buoys in the Rio Grande.
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The Supreme Court this week found in the administration’s favor when it granted an emergency appeal to allow agents to keep cutting border wire set up by Texas along the border. Texas this week published images of it strengthening physical barriers along Eagle Pass.
The administration has also sued over a recently signed law that allows Texas state and local officials to arrest illegal immigrants. The administration has accused Texas of interfering with federal control over immigration and border security, and has said it is putting agents and migrants in danger.
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Abbott, however, cited constitutional language that demands the federal government “protect each [State] against invasion” and the right of states to protect their own borders.
Abbott argues that “the failure of the Biden administration” to fulfill those duties triggers a clause in Article 1 that “reserves to this State the right of self-defense.” He notes he has already declared an “invasion” to invoke the authority, which he calls “the supreme law of the land and supersedes any federal statutes to the contrary.”
“The federal government has broken the compact between the United States and the States,” Abbott said in a statement this week. “The Executive Branch of the United States has a constitutional duty to enforce federal laws protecting states, including immigration laws on the books right now. President Biden has refused to enforce those laws and has even violated them.”
Over the past few days, over a dozen Republican governors have issued statements saying that they will back Abbott in his dispute with Biden.
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“If the Constitution really made states powerless to defend themselves against an invasion, it wouldn’t have been ratified in the first place and Texas would have never joined the union when it did,” Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis wrote on social media.
Fox News Digital reached out to the White House and the Trump campaign for comment, but did not receive a response.
Fox News Digital’s Adam Shaw contributed to this report.