Texas Governor Greg Abbott is determined to challenge a federal judge’s order to remove a 1,000-foot floating barrier covered in razor wire in the Rio Grande.
The judge’s ruling, issued by Judge David Ezra of the U.S. District Court in Austin, raised concerns about the barrier’s impact on navigation and human safety in the river.
Ezra’s decision was based on the fact that the barrier, made of large buoys fitted with serrated saw blades, obstructed river navigation and posed a significant threat to human lives.
Another key point is whether the barrier violates federal law, particularly the Rivers and Harbors Act, which regulates structures in navigable waters. The U.S. Department of Justice, in its lawsuit against Texas, argued that the barrier constituted an obstruction in the Rio Grande, posing a risk to navigation and public safety.
In response to the court’s decision, Governor Abbott promptly announced his plan to appeal the decision and maintain the barrier. Abbott made it clear that he would not remove the barrier unless directed to do so by the U.S. Supreme Court, and warned, “This fight ain’t over; it’s only just begun.”
Abbott’s move to install the barrier had previously drawn criticism from various organizations, including the Mexican government, immigration advocates, and local political activists.
The situation escalated when the U.S. Department of Justice initiated legal proceedings against Texas which then led to Judge Ezra’s ruling.
Abbott defended the barrier’s installation by arguing that the “segment of the river where the buoy system has been deployed is not navigable; even if it were, the buoy system does not decrease the navigable capacity of the river; and the buoy system is not a boom or other structure prohibited under the [Rivers and Harbors] Act.”
In response to the judge’s decision, Governor Abbott declared, “Our battle to defend Texas’ sovereign authority to protect lives from the chaos caused by President Biden’s open border policies has only begun.”
Securing the Border
Abbott emphasized that Texas would continue to employ various strategies to secure its border stating, “This ruling is incorrect and will be overturned on appeal. We will continue to utilize every strategy to secure the border, including deploying Texas National Guard soldiers and Department of Public Safety troopers and installing strategic barriers.”
While Abbott framed the barrier as necessary to prevent an “invasion by the Mexican drug cartels,” Judge Ezra rejected this argument by stating, “Under this logic, once Texas decides, in its sole discretion, that it has been invaded, it is subject to no oversight of its ‘chosen means of waging war.’ Such a claim is breathtaking.”
In contrast, the U.S. Department of Justice welcomed Judge Ezra’s decision. Associate Attorney General Vanita Gupta stated, “We are pleased that the court ruled that the barrier was unlawful and irreparably harms diplomatic relations, public safety, navigation, and the operations of federal agency officials in and around the Rio Grande.”
The legal battle is further complicated by the broader problem of immigration policy in the United States. Abbott’s decision to install the barrier is rooted in his belief that the federal government has not addressed the border crisis.
The situation at the border under President Biden’s leadership, has failed in the eyes of Governor Abbott, and he feels that Texas has a responsibility to protect its citizens and prevent unlawful border crossings.
The Wrong Side
However, the situation has a divided response among the general public. One social media commenter said, “Joe Biden has been on the wrong side of almost every important issue, for his entire career in politics. Immigration included. He needs to resign.”
Another user sees the situation as a larger issue stemming from Congress. They say, “Both sides of Congress are to blame, They won’t solve the problem. Meanwhile, everyone pays the price. I guess we got what we voted for.”
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