LTC Allen West in front of the border wall near El Paso, TX

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Greetings, everyone! As we head into Christmas week, I am praying that everyone enjoys a blessed and Merry Christmas. There is one thing I hope parents and grandparents do this Christmas: have kids open a gift box that has a little piece of paper in it that says three words, “Liberty and Freedom.” That is truly the best and greatest earthly gift we can give to our kids, every day. God already took care of the greatest gift, forgiveness of sins and eternal life.

Part of securing liberty and freedom for ourselves and future generations is to secure our border, preserving the sovereignty of America, and Texas. However, when you consider that by the end of this year, 2021, there will be close to 2.6 million illegal immigrants who have entered America, many through our 1,254 mile Texas border. This past weekend, Texas Governor Greg Abbott held a press conference and touted that he has begun construction on a 1.7 mile “border wall.” The immediate response to this is, “what took so long, and why now?”

America suffered its worst year in history for drug overdoses, mainly from fentanyl. Texas is the number one state in America for human and sex trafficking. Dallas and Houston are the top two cities in America for sex trafficking. Texans are being told they must get a shot in the arm, but illegals are not. Planes and buses are used to transport illegals out of Texas to Louisiana, Florida, Tennessee, and even to New York.

Now, Greg Abbott wants us to believe that he is serious about border security? This is nothing more than a political optic, kinda like lining up a bunch of DPS vehicles in the Del Rio sector, and claiming that is going to stop illegal immigration. Well, guess what, they went around the wall of cars with whoopie lights. Let’s ask ourselves: how long will it take for this endeavor to come to fruition?

A physical barrier, obstacle, does have validity in channeling illegal immigrants to a sector where we have better ground manpower and surveillance. But, beating your chest and political grandstanding about a wall is not a panacea unless you have a strategy to defeat the scourge of illegal immigration, meaning that you must assail the center of gravity in this situation, namely the cartels.

I am glad that Gov. Abbott has heard my assertion about the constitutionality of Texas being empowered to secure the border. As we articulated in our missive titled “Intentional and Purposeful,” the Biden administration is doing exactly what they wanted. They are doing so unconstitutionally, by executive order. And, the federal government is not supreme over the States when they take actions that are not “pursuant thereof” to the Constitution. Article 4, Section 4 of the Constitution is the “Guarantee Clause,” and the federal government is tasked to protect every state in the Union from invasion . . . they ain’t.

So, yes, Texas is empowered by the US Constitution to rectify this situation. The question is how? But certainly, it is not about political gimmicks and band-aids over this sucking chest wound.

First, Texas must create a Border Control Zone (BCZ). The southern boundary is the Rio Grande river. The northern boundary is US Hwy 90. Laterally, the boundaries of the Texas BCZ goes from the El Paso sector east to the Big Bend sector, Del Rio, Laredo, RGV sectors. The state of Texas maintains control in the BCZ and assumes OPCON (operational control) of any federal government assets operating in our BCZ. Remember, the federal government has abdicated its constitutional duty and responsibility. The Biden administration has ordered CBP and ICE to not do their prescribed duties. Therefore, Texas will! That means deploying our Texas Military Department assets in the respective BCZs, operational alignment, with the right task/purpose and rules of engagement. No, we do not need to have hundreds of Texas DPS officers in the BCZ unless that is their area of operation. Deploying DPS out to the border is creating a gap in their normal areas of responsibility.

Second, we must empower our Texas constitutional law enforcement officers with the ability to arrest, not for trespassing, but for illegal entry into Texas, America. The respective Texas Sheriff’s agencies must have the power to deport illegals –as trespassing is a misdemeanor offense — and the illegals end up being released. As well, we must resource, especially our border county Sheriffs, with the ability to deputize and augment their forces, which are just being overwhelmed.

Thirdly, we must designate the cartels as transnational narco-criminal terrorist organizations, as it is what they actually are,. We must understand that their center of gravity is the money they are making. For example, tens of millions of dollars just for human trafficking per week. Designating them as such means that the State of Texas can freeze and seize their assets here and charge individuals with the felony crime of aiding and abetting a terrorist organization. We must also realize that we are fighting an insurgency along our border. This terrorist organization is firing across the Rio Grande river into Texas, an act of war. We must respond, not proportionally, but with overwhelming force in order to send a clear message. All funds and resources seized from this terrorist organization would go into a Texas Border Security Fund, ensuring we can resource our efforts.

Fourth, the non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that are receiving federal grants to process illegal immigrants and place them on buses and planes must be stopped. The solution is simple: revoke their licenses to operate in Texas as a 501(c) 3 organization. And if they persist, they will be charged with the felony crime of aiding and abetting human and sex trafficking in Texas.

Lastly, we must stop the magnets, and that means no in-state tuition for illegal immigrants. It also means developing a means to tax the remittances of illegals that are sent back to Mexico, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Guatemala . . . and any other country. We are talking about billions of dollars monthly. Oklahoma does this at the rate of 1 percent. Texas is 10 times better than Oklahoma, so we will have a tax rate of 10 percent, with the revenue raised going into our Border Security Fund.

Speaking of revenue and resources, Texas must debit from its own remittances to the federal government the cost we incur from assuming the constitutional duty and responsibility which the federal government has abdicated.

Do we need a physical barrier along our border? Yes, in certain critical areas to channel illegal immigrant activity. This is not about shutting down bridges and entry points, that is a ludicrous concept. We need to be laser-focused on the pressure points. The President of Mexico ain’t in charge of Mexico, he has abdicated this over to the terrorist organizations that control everything immediately south of the Rio Grande river. And, if we are not careful, they will align with Islamic jihadists and aid them in infiltrating into the United States.

We must realize what true border security means, and not fall prey to political optics and gimmicks. What I have outlined here forms the basis of my strategy as Governor of Texas to secure our border. Any federal judge that tries to tell me that I cannot, well, they can meet me down along the Rio Grande river and walk a night patrol with me, and our troops. See, I believe in leading from the front, and I will not ask anyone to do something I am not willing to do myself.

Steadfast and Loyal,

Lt. Col. Allen B. West (Ret.)

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