The League of United Latin American Citizens issued a statement early Friday morning warning legal action against the governor for abuse of power after he unveiled a costly, multi-faceted plan to address challenges along the border on Thursday.
Abbott approved a budget from the Texas Legislature that included over a billion dollars set aside for border security. During a border security summit in Del Río, Abbott said the plan includes arresting migrants who are found to be “trespassing, engaged in vandalism, criminal mischief or smuggling.”
The money would be used on enhancing space at county jails for the anticipated increase in arrests, building border barriers, adding more aircraft and boats along the border.
“This is a huge waste of taxpayer money, and very likely illegal,” LULAC National President Domingo Garcia said in the statement.
“LULAC is considering filing an injunction against Governor Abbott for his abuse of power, and using refugee children as political piñatas to cynically launch his run for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination,” the statement added.
Garcia spoke to The Monitor on Friday and said they are waiting to read the governor’s final orders before filing a class action lawsuit.
He said the organization expects the money could be used in a way that contradicts federal law.
“The U.S. Constitution gives the federal government sole authority over the border and entries and exits into the United States, not the state of Texas. So, in essence, his political grandstanding is illegal, we believe,” Garcia said. “I think that any federal court will rule that using state dollars and state resources to build walls between countries is not allowed under the constitution and under federal law, which supersedes state law.”
LULAC’s injunction would be filed as a class action lawsuit, since the organization can legally represent all Mexican Americans and Latinos on any issue before the federal court since the 1960s.