Governor Abbott has invoked Article 4, Section 7 of the Texas Constitution. This executive power allows the Governor to direct state forces to "repel invasions”, a power that reasonable people would assume only applies to an organized attempt to seize or occupy territory in the state of Texas, but is now being used to direct military force against civilians engaging in travel and commerce.
Overuse of emergency powers has become far too common. We have seen government forces directed against protestors challenging lockdowns and police brutality, used to force businesses to close down, and leveraged for vaccine mandates and travel restrictions. Governor Abbott himself has a recent history of abusing emergency powers, as he previously implemented lockdowns in Texas and continued to extend those COVID-19 emergency powers into 2023.
As businesses in Texas struggle to hire enough laborers, this order puts workers further out of reach. As migrants try to escape cartel violence and poverty, this order gives them over to both. Free trade drives prices down, and yet during a time of record inflation, Governor Abbott is doing everything in his power to drive prices up. And worst of all, he’s going to take billions of dollars of your family’s earnings to do it.
As with many crises, this crisis is wholly manufactured by the politicians who will profit from it. Between the war on drugs making cartels rich, draconian border policies that drive peaceful migrants to human traffickers, and stoking identity politics between immigrants and native Texans to distract them from crushing property taxes, the government has created the problem. In doing so, violence against immigrants escalates. It will force more immigrants to take remote, dangerous routes across the border, driving them onto more private property, into rural communities, to the homes of Texas residents for survival, and will make human trafficking more profitable. And in our own communities, the dehumanization of migrants as “invaders” will escalate the culture of distrust, fear, and even violence toward all immigrants.
The solution to bad government is not more government.
Because we support the rights of all individuals, the Libertarian Party of Texas opposes the abuse of emergency powers to restrict the movement of people.
III. LIBERTY TO IMMIGRATE AND FREELY TRADE (LIFT)
LPTexas advocates for the freedom of individuals to live, work, study, and travel, with respect for others’ rights and freedoms, without government impediment.
LPTexas supports the free, fair, and voluntary exchange of currency, goods, labor, services, and ideas, whereby all may prosper through free market principles and individual responsibility.
No nation or state has declared war on us. No group of people coming in from Mexico is organized as an invading army. Individual Texans retain the right to defend their lives and property, and the arrest and prosecution of those who aggress against individual rights should continue.
When it comes to conflicts between different levels of government, we operate on the principle that governments exist only to defend the freedom of individuals. Any government action that violates the freedom of individuals should be opposed by other governing bodies charged with protecting those freedoms, whether it is state opposing federal, federal opposing state, for any levels of government that exist.
We should be streamlining immigration through major crossings, making it safe and orderly. We should be allowing passage through Texas to find opportunities elsewhere or perform much-needed work for Texas businesses to prosper. This approach would put human traffickers out of business, decrease dangerous encounters in small communities and on private property, and shift the focus of law enforcement to real criminals - to keep all Texans safe.
The road to freedom is paved with freedom.
Governor Abbott's abuse of power is an overreaction at best, and further extends the power of the government that locked us down during the pandemic. Inciting more division by treating immigrants as “invaders” is irrational and repugnant.
For these reasons, we reject Governor Abbott’s delusional claim of an invasion. We call for ending the governor’s abuse of emergency powers. We call for an end to wasting the earnings of working Texans on the dangerously failed war on drugs, the war on immigrants, and other militarization of the state against peaceful people and activities. We call on the Texas government to return to fulfilling its only legitimate purpose: Defending the freedoms of all people.