Article 1, Section 10, Clause 3 of the United States Constitution:
“No State shall, without the Consent of Congress, lay any Duty of Tonnage, keep Troops, or Ships of War in time of Peace, enter into any Agreement or Compact with another State, or with a foreign Power, or engage in War, unless actually invaded, or in such imminent Danger as will not admit of delay.”
As the world watches in horror as ISIS kills, maims, and terrorizes the people of France, Belgium, and Russia, as the U.S. State Department issues a worldwide travel alert until February 2016, as the FBI and DHS issue warnings to the American people that the United States is under high alert for a terror attack on the homeland, nothing is being done about our open porous borders. It is absolutely beyond comprehension.
We face a crisis in our country today. Wide swaths of open land on our borders are literally open doors for terrorists; we are inviting them in to threaten our communities and kill our citizens. Due to this emergence it serves Americans well to be aware of what options the United States Constitution offers them via the States. Article 1 Section 10 Clause 3 may provide the answer. Your representative may not even be aware of this lawful loophole.
Under the current dire circumstances, it is time for the governors of the border states to utilize the Compact Clause and take action since the federal government is doing absolutely nothing. To focus on the southern border, California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas are currently being “invaded” and are certainly in “imminent danger.” Thus, they can take action to seal up the border, send in the militia, send in armed guards or take whatever action they deem necessary to prevent the illegal and dangerous movements into their states. The compact can be between as little as two states. Thus, if California doesn’t want to join in they do not have to do so, but Arizona, New Mexico and Texas can be pro-active.
The Compact Clause states that Congress must consent to the compact – unless – actually invaded or in imminent danger. The southern states in America are most definitely being invaded. ISIS is surging. The illegal immigration crisis is escalating while the federal government is cowering in a corner – afraid of political consequences, or better yet encouraging them. Shame on them. It is time for the States to act and this clause gives them the legitimacy to do so.
Citizens awake! The danger is here. More danger is coming. With the newfound knowledge of the Compact Clause - which allows states to defend themselves in times of invasion or imminent danger - calls must be made to your governors, and representatives on the state level, urging them to take action. Be wary of attempts to downplay the legitimacy of the Compact Clause. The fact that states can enter into a compact to protect themselves in times of invasion or imminent danger according to Article 1 Section 10 Clause 3 should not be distorted by political agenda and political legalese.
Our founders deliberately empowered the local and state governments giving them permission to rise when danger presented itself. We the people must act. Google your state representatives and email them, call them, sign the Compact Clause petition. Do the same with your governor. It is time for the states to protect themselves. It is time for us to demand it.
Janine Turner is an actress, author, and founder and co-chair of Constituting America.