Texas National Guard installing razor wire along border with New Mexico

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The Texas National Guard has started the fortify the border between Texas and New Mexico with 18 miles of concertina wire.

The order comes directly from Texas Gov. Greg Abbott.

So it that legal? KOB 4 took that question to UNM law professor Joshua Kastenberg.

“Governor Abbott, like every governor, has something known as ‘police power,'” Kastenberg said. “That’s the authority to enforce the laws that are unique to the states, to the individual states, as well as, perhaps safeguard the health and security of their state citizens and residents.”

While Abbott has police power, that authority ends when it starts to impact one of two areas – federal functions or commerce in other states.

“The one that should concern us the most in New Mexico is something known as the Dormant Commerce Clause,” Kasternberg said. “If either the design of this wall, its intended effect – or its unintended effects – hampers the commerce of the state of New Mexico from entering into the stream of federal commerce. What I mean by that is not just our goods or services or agriculture, gas, oil, railroads, trucks, and like, but also freedom of travel.”

If New Mexico wanted to stop the construction of this border fence, a lawsuit would have to come from either the attorney general or the governor’s office.

When asked for comment, a spokesperson for New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham shared the following:

“We encourage Gov. Abbott to turn his attention away from a never-ending stream of political stunts and toward working in earnest for the people of the state he was elected to represent.”

Kastenberg argues this is more than just a political stunt.

“It has everything to do with politics,” Kasternberg said. “But I think when we say that, we reduced the importance of the fact that this act is a unique and a very serious constitutional issue, on state-to-state relations.”

U.S. Rep Gabe Vasquez says his office is looking into ways to stop this fence from being constructed.

KOB 4 reached out to the city governments of El Paso and Sunland Park Tuesday, but we did not hear back.