Gordon Announces He Supports Texas' Efforts To Secure Border

Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon was one of 25 Republican governors to sign a letter Thursday proclaiming support for Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s efforts to ignore the Biden administration and secure the U.S. - Mexico border.

LW
Leo Wolfson

January 25, 20246 min read

Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon, left, and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott
Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon, left, and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (Matt Idler for Cowboy State Daily; Getty Images)

Gov. Mark Gordon is standing with the state of Texas in its defiance of President Joe Biden and whatever-it-takes approach to securing the state’s southern border with Mexico.

Gordon was one of 25 Republican governors to sign a letter Thursday supporting Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s efforts to disregard the Biden administration in securing the Lone Star State’s borders with Mexico because of an increased flow of illegal immigration across it.

“I remain committed to a secure border and to supporting states struggling with the ongoing security crisis along our southern border,” Gordon said in a press release.

Wyoming’s congressional delegation also expressed unanimous support for Abbott and Texas earlier this week.

Abbott also has increased the border enforcement roles of the Texas Department of Public Safety and the Texas National Guard over the last year, citing a constitutional authority for a state to defend itself against invasion, an effort that’s become known as Operation Lone Star.

Some of Abbott’s efforts have included erecting barbed wire along the banks of the Rio Grande River, installing a barrier of buoys in the river and enacting a sweeping law that allows state and local law enforcement to arrest migrants crossing from Mexico.

Earlier this month,Texas officials also took over a public park on the shores of the Rio Grande, using Texas National Guard troops to block the U.S. Border Patrol from accessing the park, according to The Hill.

"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," Abbott said in a Wednesday statement. "President Biden has instructed his agencies to ignore federal statutes that mandate the detention of illegal immigrants.”

Earlier this week, the U.S. Supreme Court sided with the federal government in allowing the removal of razor wire installed by Texas for the purpose of securing the border. The Biden administration told the Supreme Court that federal agents must access the border to patrol it and do their jobs.

Many calls rang out on social media afterward for Texas to secede from the United States, an effort referred to by the hashtag “Texit.”

Gordon And The Border

Gordon mentioned how in 2023, at the request of Abbott, he authorized the deployment of eight Wyoming law enforcement officers to provide support along the southern border. This was a result of the Emergency Management Assistance Compact, which allows partner states to offer assistance during governor-declared states of emergency.

“Secure borders prevent criminals and deadly drugs like fentanyl from entering our country and making their way to Wyoming,” Gordon said. “Wyoming stands in solidarity with Governor Abbott and the state of Texas in utilizing every tool and strategy to secure the border and protect American citizens. We are all border states now.”

Michael Pearlman, a spokesperson for the governor, said the deployment cost $86,434, which included reimbursements for food, lodging and transportation.

Gordon also has made trips to the border during his time as governor. He has made immigration one of his most conservative political stances, opposing the entry of Afghan refugees into Wyoming in 2021 as a result of the Taliban overthrow.

In 2023, the Wyoming Legislature considered legislation that would have, if passed, sent $5 million to help southern border states in their efforts to build a border wall and transport migrants to other places. Although Gordon supported the legislation, it was defeated.

The Situation

Abbott has been a vocal critic of Biden’s immigration policies and has shipped busloads of migrants to northern cities in the past.

Texas has argued that because of the Biden administration’s failure to secure the border, it has had to take matters into its own hands.

The annual number of Border Patrol encounters involving migrants entering illegally swelled from 458,000 in 2020 to 2.4 million in 2022, according to court documents. Texas has also cited the growing presence of Mexican drug cartels, now the fifth-largest employer in Mexico, as a lucrative business thriving on lax border policing.

“President Biden and his administration have left Americans and our country completely vulnerable to unprecedented illegal immigration pouring across the Southern border,” the governors’ letter reads. “Instead of upholding the rule of law and securing the border, the Biden administration has attacked and sued Texas for stepping up to protect American citizens from historic levels of illegal immigrants, deadly drugs like fentanyl, and terrorists entering our country.”

The Biden administration asked the U.S. Supreme Court on Jan. 2, to vacate a lower court’s order stopping federal agents from cutting razor wire the Texas Military Department raised on private property in Eagle Pass, a border town and the “epicenter” of migrant influx.

The high court sided with Biden in a 5-4 split.

Right To Protect

In her argument before the Supreme Court, U.S. Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogar cited the U.S. Constitution’s Supremacy Clause, which dictates that the Constitution and federal law is to be the “supreme law of the land.” She also told the high court that federal agents need access to the border to respond to migrants’ medical emergencies and to patrol and inspect people entering the United States.

The governors argue that the Constitution grants states a right to self-defense.

“Because the Biden Administration has abdicated its constitutional compact duties to the states, Texas has every legal justification to protect the sovereignty of our states and our nation,” the letter reads.

Democratic Texas congressman Greg Casar criticized Abbott’s actions in a Wednesday statement.

"Greg Abbott has continued to use political stunts and inflammatory language to advance his own agenda, violating the Constitution and endangering both U.S. citizens and asylum seekers," Casar posted on X. "Abbott is following the Donald Trump playbook: making immigration harder and more dangerous, so asylum seekers are pushed into the hands of cartels and the system remains broken."

Leo Wolfson can be reached at Leo@CowboyStateDaily.com.

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LW

Leo Wolfson

Politics and Government Reporter