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Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has dramatically raised the stakes in a confrontation with the Biden administration over illegal immigration from Mexico. He has ordered state forces to lay down barbed wire along the Rio Grande River, and thus block federal Border Patrol from approaching the border. His actions run directly contrary to the exclusive federal control over the border, as made clear by the Supreme Court, and threaten a conflict between federal and state militaries unseen since the darkest days of desegregation in the South.
Instead of inviting a breakdown of federal-state relations, no matter how deep the disagreement over border policy, Texas should instead invite the Supreme Court to overturn its precedent pre-empting any state role in immigration enforcement. Congress can also play an important role by making