Texas must remove floating barriers the state placed on the Rio Grande to deter illegal immigrants from crossing, a federal judge ruled Wednesday, but Gov. Greg Abbott wasted no time announcing he would appeal.
District Court Judge David Ezra ordered the wrecking ball-sized buoys removed next Friday and barred the Lone Star State from adding any other structures on the Rio Grande, the international border between the United States and Mexico in Texas. , without prior federal approval.
Shortly after Ezra’s ruling, Abbott issued a statement promising that “Texas will appeal.”
“This ruling is incorrect and will be overturned on appeal. We will continue to use all strategies to secure the border, including the deployment of Texas National Guard and Department of Public Safety soldiers and the installation of strategic barriers,” the governor said.
The removal of the 1,000-foot sea barrier is part of a preliminary injunction, not a final ruling in the federal lawsuit.
In July, the Justice Department sued Abbott, arguing that it did not have the authority to order the placement of buoys in the river.
Texas has until September 15 to remove controversial river border barriers near Eagle Pass, Texas, according to a federal judge’s ruling Wednesday. AFP via Getty Images
The Republican governor never sought the necessary permission from the International Boundary and Water Commission to install the barrier, the federal agency in charge of the river told The Post in July.
Federal prosecutors argue that the chain of large orange buoys, intended to prevent asylum-seeking immigrants from venturing into the waters of the Rio Grande River near Eagle Pass, Texas, are also a “threat to human life.”
The 1,000-foot marine barrier on the Rio Grande is meant to keep out migrants crossing the water into the United States seeking asylum.REUTERS
While no deaths have been directly linked to the buoys, the body of a migrant who drowned upriver and became entangled in the barrier has been recovered from the notoriously dangerous waterway, state officials said.
“The buoys are a symbol of the hateful and inhumane policies that Governor Abbott has adopted as he continues to wage war against immigrants seeking to better their lives, as millions of other immigrants have done for hundreds of years in this country. ”said Carolina Cañizales of the Immigrant Legal Resources Center.
The state agency in charge of installing the structure told The Post that anyone who wanted to get past the buoys would have to swim under them.
The large orange buoys are meant to deter anyone from crossing the river, the state of Texas told The Post.ZUMAPRESS.com
“The buoys drop a foot below the water line, so anyone wanting to get past them would have to swim at least that far,” Lt. Chris Olivarez, a spokesman for the Texas Department of Public Safety, told the Post in July.
The judge’s order also said the barrier hampered Border Patrol operations, including rescuing migrants from the river, and damaged diplomatic relations with Mexico.
The buoys are to remain on the US side of the river banks until a final decision can be made in the lawsuit pitting the state against the feds.ZUMAPRESS.com/MEGA
The United States’ neighbor to the south has demanded that the buoys be removed from the Rio Grande, as Mexico controls about half of its waters. A recent study found that most of the buoys were originally placed in Mexican waters.
But none of the controversy has deterred Abbott, who declared he is ready to take the case to the U.S. Supreme Court.
“Today’s court decision simply continues President Biden’s willful refusal to acknowledge that Texas is legitimately stepping up to do the job it should have been doing all along,” the three-term governor said.
“Our battle to defend Texas’ sovereign authority to protect lives from the chaos caused by President Biden’s open border policies has only just begun.”