(The Daily Caller News Foundation)—Several Republican lawmakers introduced a bill Thursday to authorize National Guard troops to repel migrants attempting to illegally cross the southern border while carrying a weapon.
Texas Rep. Morgan Luttrell spearheaded the introduction of the bill, a copy of which was first obtained by the Daily Caller News Foundation, titled the “Defend Our Borders from Armed Invaders Act.” In recent days, the federal government and the state of Texas have sparred over border security as Republican Gov. Greg Abbott has seized property along the Rio Grande in Eagle Pass known as Shelby Park.
“Cartels and smugglers are thriving at our wide-open border,” Luttrell said in a statement to the DCNF. “We’re seeing violent crime continually escalate at the border and flow into our communities, as President Biden’s policies have created an untenable national security crisis.”
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“This legislation is a step in the right direction to reign in this crime by providing the National Guard the power to stop these armed individuals from crossing into the United States by any means necessary,” Luttrell added.
The Biden Administration has been asking Texas to stand down from Shelby Park, but the state has refused to do so. Additionally, the Supreme Court ruled recently that federal authorities can cut razor wire erected by Texas, thought state authorities have put more wire up in response.
In August, the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) recorded drone footage of an illegal immigrant appearing to be armed with a long gun near the area the state has seized in Eagle Pass.
08/02: @TxDPS Texas Rangers UAS (Drone) Operators in #EaglePass conducted a patrol flight in #ShelbyPark. Operators observed a male carrying a long gun (possibly an AR platform) guiding a group of illegal immigrants across the Rio Grande. The unidentified male made it back to… pic.twitter.com/5ZPD12dcAh
— Chris Olivarez (@LtChrisOlivarez) August 3, 2023
Border Patrol agents have seen record illegal immigration at the southern border in recent years. Agents recorded more than 2.2 million migrants crossing the southern border illegally in fiscal year 2022 and more than 2 million in fiscal year 2023, according to federal data.
Seventy-five percent of Americans support using the U.S. military against Mexican drug cartels, according to a 2023 poll conducted by the Senate Opportunity Fund.
Luttrell introduced the bill alongside Reps. Chuck Fleischmann of Tennessee, Chuck Edwards of North Carolina, Brian Babin of Texas, Michael Guest of Mississippi, Mike Collins of Georgia, and Brandon Williams of New York.