A major Hispanic group issued an Independence Day demand to President Biden to confront growing efforts by red-state governors to impose border security on their own, calling it an “insurrection” that the federal government must put down.
The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) delivered a letter to the White House on Sunday calling on Mr. Biden to block state governors who have said they would send their National Guard or other assistance to help Texas secure the border.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott says the feds have fallen down on the job, he’s ordered his state police and National Guard into the fray, and he’ll construct a border wall with state money.
LULAC said the states are engaging in rebellion with their border security efforts.
“We told the president in no uncertain terms, this is an insurrection by recalcitrant and rebellious states that must be stopped,” says Domingo Garcia, national president of LULAC.
He said Mr. Abbott, who hosted former President Donald Trump for a border visit last week, was “fomenting dangerous racial hatred targeting Latinos.”
LULAC’s Texas director, Rodolfo Rosales Jr., compared the states’ actions to the Civil War.
“We are being invaded by governors of the defeated Confederacy to arm the border against brown women and children escaping political persecution, hunger, and death,” he said.
The states LULAC cited — Arizona, Nebraska, Idaho, Florida and South Dakota — don’t exactly match with the contours of the Confederacy, and questions over states’ ability to influence federal immigration policy extend well beyond the current Biden administration border crisis.
Mr. Trump confronted a wave of resistance from states and localities that declared themselves sanctuaries, refusing to cooperate with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement
Former President Obama faced attempts by states to impose their own penalties on illegal immigration and to try to block businesses from hiring those in the country without authorization.
In both cases, states were allowed some leeway, though courts did rule that states could not attempt to enforce immigration policy on their own.
States deploying their National Guard to the border has a long precedent dating back to Democratic and GOP federal administrations, and including governors of both parties.
But LULAC’s leaders, in their letter this week, said deploying guard troops and other state assistance runs counter to the states’ Emergency Management Assistance Compact, which is the agreement that allows one jurisdiction to send assistance to another.
They said Mr. Biden, as commander in chief, can issue an order blocking deployment of troops.
• Stephen Dinan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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