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Texas's use of 'invasion' clause against immigrants criticized as racist, dangerous: The Guardian

Xinhua | Updated: 2023-05-31 10:58

LONDON -- Texas is challenging the United States federal control of the US-Mexico border policy by exploiting what it sees as a constitutional loophole around the definition of an "invasion." Migrants rights activists warned it's dangerously ramping up fears with racist language, British newspaper The Guardian has reported.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott invoked the "invasion" clauses found in the Texas and U.S. constitutions last November, likening migrants at the border to a public foreign enemy that therefore gave him the power to enact his border policies, said the report published on Monday.

The Texas Civil Rights Project called the move a "political ploy."

"Calling immigrants an invasion is extremely dangerous," said Roberto Lopez, senior advocacy manager for the organization's "Beyond the Border" program.

"We have seen so many shootings and more rise in hate crimes (against migrants). This is all connected to this rhetoric of associating people who are trying to seek safety with being like a literal attack on the United States. That is just giving a lot of fire and energy to militia groups and people who are filled with hate," Lopez was quoted as saying.

Immigration policy has long been under the purview of the United States federal government, not individual states since the U.S. supreme court ruled so in a landmark United States v Arizona case in 2012.

According to Barbara Hines, a law professor at the University of Texas, the legal language Abbott is citing is not that simple, the state's justification for creating its own immigration laws is "unprecedented and extreme."

"Federal immigration law is a federal issue. It's not based on the Texas constitution," Hines said.

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