Over the years that I have served as president of The Future of Freedom Foundation, I have received emails from proponents of the federal government’s system of immigration controls lamenting the “invasion” by migrants on our nation’s southern border. As a former criminal-defense attorney in Texas, I have always tried to provide free legal advice to these people, most of whom have been rightwingers: Don’t shoot and kill the “invaders.”
Why this free legal advice? Because the shooter will, without any doubt whatsoever, be indicted by either a state or federal grand jury, prosecuted for cold-blooded murder, convicted, and sentenced to a long jail term.
You might ask, “Jacob, how can this be? If our nation is being invaded, why don’t people have the right to defend their country against the invader by shooting and killing the invader? After all, isn’t that what the people of Ukraine are doing to the Russians who have invaded their country? Are you saying, Jacob, that people don’t have the right to defend their country from an invasion by shooting and killing the invaders?”
No, I’m not saying that. Of course, people have the right to defend themselves from an unlawful invasion by shooting and killing the invaders. When Nazi Germany invaded Poland, Czechoslovakia, Russia, and France, the people of those countries had the right to shoot and kill the German invaders.
Let’s assume that China was somehow able to muster enough warships, transport ships, supplies, equipment, and weaponry to cross the Pacific Ocean and invade California, Oregon, and Washington. In that case, Americans would be perfectly within their rights to shoot and kill the invaders. Would private American citizens run for cover and simply let the federal government deal with the invasion? I don’t think so. I think the vast majority of private Americans would muster up the courage to take on the Chinese invaders with such things as ambushes, roadside bombs, and guerrilla tactics.
This issue of “invasion” has arisen once again in the context of Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s decision to defy a ruling of the U.S. Supreme Court declaring that federal officials have the authority to remove concertina wire that Abbott’s minions have installed in and along the Rio Grande to cut up, injure, and even kill migrants who try to enter Texas by swimming across the Rio Grande. Proponents of immigration controls have come to Abbott’s defense by arguing that the State of Texas has the constitutional authority to protect itself from an “invasion.”
But notice something important: So far, not one single one of these Abbott defenders has gone to the border to shoot and kill the “invaders.” What’s up with that? Are these people guilty of cowardice in the face of the enemy? Are they the type of people who would run for cover in the event of a Chinese invasion on the West Coast? Would they exclaim, “I’m too scared of the enemy, Jacob. I want the government to handle the problem”?
No, I don’t think cowardice is the problem here. Instead, it’s that deep down these people know that their invasion rationale is bogus. In other words, they are essentially following my free legal advice. They know that they will not be hailed as courageous defenders of our nation if they start shooting and killing the “invaders” but instead will be hauled into court, prosecuted, convicted, and sent to jail.
The case of a man named Patrick Wood Crusius is instructive. In 2019, Crusius traveled from Dallas to a Walmart in El Paso, where he shot and killed 23 people and injured 22 others. His rationale? In his mind, he was defending America from the “invasion” along the border by shooting and killing the enemy. In many towns along the borders, the populace consists predominantly of Mexican Americans. I can only assume that when Crusius saw lots of Mexican Americans shopping at El Paso’s Walmart, his warped mindset caused him to think that they were part of the “invading force” that was purchasing weaponry and supplies to support their “invasion.”
If proponents of immigration controls were tempted to hail Crusius as a hero, they were sent into silence when he received 90 life sentences. While the proponents of immigration controls might have been outraged by what they may have considered to be a miscarriage of justice toward a man who was supposedly defending his country from “invaders,” it is my conviction that Crusius got exactly what he deserved. He was nothing more than a cold-blooded murderer, not a “patriot” who was defending his country from an “invasion” by killing people who were peacefully shopping at Walmart.
It is important to recognize that an invasion is what the U.S. government did to Iraq. Troops. Bombs, Missiles. Violence. Massive death and destruction. Migrants who are simply avoiding an immigration police state by illegally and peacefully crossing a political border are not engaging in an invasion.
Interestingly, even though Abbott is justifying his concertina wire and other police-state measures on the “invasion” rationale, he himself seems to understand the nature of my free legal advice that I provide to proponents of immigration controls. According to the Texas Tribune, Abbott stated, “The only thing that we’re not doing is we’re not shooting people who come across the border, because of course, the Biden administration would charge us with murder.” Therefore, Abbott and his minions are resigning themselves to simply using concertina wire to cut up and kill the penniless, defenseless, unarmed mothers, fathers, children, and other people who are entering the United States by peacefully crossing a border in violation of the federal government’s system of immigration controls.