There’s no doubting New York City Mayor Eric Adams‘ liberal bona fides; he once denounced a political opponent for not defending Black supremacist Louis Farrakhan vociferously enough.

So when Mr. Adams says that open borders and a constant flow of illegal immigrants mean that “the city we knew, we’re about to lose,” we know that a fundamental shift has taken place. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has transformed the crisis at the southern border from Texas on its own into an Everytown, USA, battle by allowing “sanctuary cities” to be what they claim to be — and by forcing the left to live with its own policies.

And in doing so, Texas has completely changed the conversation.

Mr. Adams is starting to sound like the mayor of Anytown, Texas, faced with the same issues.

“I don’t see an ending to this. I don’t see an ending to this,” Mr. Adams said last week. “This issue will destroy New York City. Destroy New York City. We’re getting 10,000 migrants a month. … Now we [are] getting people from all over the globe have made their minds up that they’re going to come through the southern part of the border and coming into New York City. And everyone is saying it’s New York City’s problem.”

For over a year, Texas has helped illegal immigrants who choose to make their way to cities such as New York, Chicago and even Washington get there. Mr. Abbott said in 2022 that the Big Apple is “the ideal destination for these migrants, who can receive the abundance of city services and housing that Mayor Eric Adams has boasted about within the sanctuary city.”

Pressure is also coming from the media. President Biden’s “big fight with Eric Adams is headed for disaster,” The Washington Post’s Greg Sargent asserts.

“To be clear, without Congress fixing the immigration system, the asylum process will remain a brutal problem with no easy answers — substantive or political,” Mr. Sargent writes. “Biden’s best approach is to get the policy right where possible and let the political argument flow from that.”

A clear victory for the rule of law.

How did this come about? First, Texas held firm on Operation Lone Star, the state’s efforts to secure its border with Mexico, without any realistic federal policy.

Often dismissed as a “pricey political stunt,” Operation Lone Star is popular where it counts — with the people of Texas. Texans know to keep their eye on the ultimate goal — a secure border — and to not pay attention to the critics who must look past the deadly cartel violence in their efforts to paint Texas as “cruel.”

Next, Mr. Abbott sought support and partnerships with other governors. As Mr. Abbott notes, “so far, 14 states — Arkansas, Florida, Iowa, Idaho, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wyoming — have stepped up to support Texas’ efforts and deployed personnel and resources to secure the border in President Biden’s absence.”

Finally, Mr. Abbott deployed the buoys, which — as much as the buses filled with migrants, even — brought the issue to a head. In addition to securing a stretch of the border, the buoys serve as a symbol. They served their purpose when Department of Justice attorneys publicly sided with the criminal cartels and their enablers in the Mexican government instead of U.S. citizens. Every time the issue comes up in court as it makes its way through the appeals process, the Biden administration’s failures will be in the spotlight again.

Now, even Mr. Biden’s most strident supporters can’t make the border seem secure, or border policy seem sane.

He has lost Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, New York Democrat, who said last month that immigration is the administration’s “weakest issue.” That prompted White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre to claim, in the face of all evidence and reality, that the president “has done more to secure the border and to deal with this issue of immigration than anybody else. He really has!”

The exclamation points show how unserious the Biden administration’s policies are. Ms. Jean-Pierre ended her response to Ms. Ocasio-Cortez with a simple admission: “But the system is broken.”

That’s how Texas has changed the conversation — and how New York Mayor Eric Adams became a top spokesman for border security.