The invasion of America's southern border, and our federal government's unwillingness to defend our nation's territorial integrity, is the greatest crisis facing our nation.

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The crisis created by President Obama and his predecessors is being exacerbated by the current administration that has decided that it is in their interests to erase the southern border rather than deport and block invaders from crossing into our nation.

The crisis is being spread by the federal government around the country to formerly little-known places like Murrietta, Calif., where the illegals are being shipped for resettlement rather than being returned to their countries of origin as the law requires.

And the Obama administration is preparing for the illegal immigrant surge to continue indefinitely, conceding that they have no desire or inclination to stop it. In fact, rather than stop it, his resettlement policies are designed to encourage the flow. Further, Obama's emergency funding request will continue resettlement and allocate U.S. taxpayer funds to provide lawyers for those who illegally crossed our border — conferring upon these lawbreakers rights that are reserved for citizens.

The resulting humanitarian crisis cuts to the heart of the American compassionate character. Everyone feels for a child who has been kidnapped or shipped north, little more than a pawn to play on our national sympathy. But Guatemalan 3-year-olds are not packing up their knapsacks and walking through jungles, cities and deserts to reach the Rio Grande unabetted. Unsavory cartels are transporting these unfortunates along with much older, less innocent invaders, knowing that Obama will refuse to take action to stop them.

When a nation's government refuses or cannot protect its own territorial integrity, that government loses its moral right to exist. Protecting a nation's borders is foundational for any government. That is the real crisis facing the United States of America as it goes to the heart of Washington's right to govern, and here is what Congress and the states should do about it.

Congress needs to use its power to set up federal courts to immediately establish federal magistrates to handle all illegal immigrant cases at the border. These magistrates should be funded sufficiently to have their own transport capabilities to return illegals back to their homes. Congressional members can no longer pretend that Obama will follow the law; they need to cut him out of the process to uphold their oath to defend the U.S. Constitution.

Border state governors should immediately deploy their National Guard units to the border, and if those are nationalized by the president, then utilize their powers under Article I of the Constitution to call up their citizen militias. These call-ups should focus on two functions — protecting the integrity of their state borders and providing immediate humanitarian relief with an emphasis on helping those illegals who are ill or carrying diseases to get well, prior to sending them home.

The framers of the Constitution anticipated this type of crisis and empowered governors to deal with it; now governors need to act.

Manning (@rmanning957) is vice president of public policy and communications for Americans for Limited Government. Contact him at rmanning@getliberty.org.