Biden Admin Sues Texas Over Border

Migrants seeking asylum on an island in an attempt to cross the Rio Grande river into the United States on July 18, 2023 in Eagle Pass, Texas. Texas has begun installing buoy barriers along portions of the Rio Grande river in an effort to deter illegal border crossings. | Image by Brandon Bell/Getty Images

The Department of Justice has sued Texas over a system of buoys deployed on the Rio Grande to deter migrants from crossing unlawfully.

As The Dallas Express reported, President Joe Biden’s DOJ threatened to sue Texas over the installation of buoys along the southern border in order to deter unlawful migration.

However, Gov. Greg Abbott answered that the deterrents are in no way a violation of federal law and rather a necessary step to defend Texas’ sovereignty in the absence of adequate federal immigration law enforcement. With Abbott’s line drawn in the sand, the DOJ filed a lawsuit claiming Texas was violating federal law in its attempt to secure its own border.

Associate Attorney General Vanita Gupta explained, “We allege that Texas has flouted federal law by installing a barrier in the Rio Grande without obtaining the required federal authorization.”

“This floating barrier poses threats to navigation and public safety and presents humanitarian concerns. Additionally, the presence of the floating barrier has prompted diplomatic protests by Mexico and risks damaging U.S. foreign policy,” she continued.

Likewise, Assistant Attorney General Todd Kim added, “The Rivers and Harbors Act is clear in prohibiting the placement of any unauthorized barriers or obstructions in the Rio Grande and other navigable waters of the United States.”

Jaime Esparza, the U.S. attorney in the Western District of Texas, which is where the suit has been filed, stated, “We must all recognize that there are laws and policies in place — both domestic and international — to ensure the safety and security of everyone working, living and traveling along the river. These laws cannot be ignored, and my office will take and support the appropriate legal action to uphold them.”

Gov. Abbott, however, has stood his ground, claiming that the border buoys are not in violation of the law.

“Texas will see you in court, Mr. President. … If you truly care about human life, you must begin enforcing federal immigration law. By doing so, you can help me stop migrants from wagering their lives in the waters of the Rio Grande,” Abbott wrote in a letter to the president last week.

Rep. Ben Bumgarner (R-Flower Mound) supported Abbott’s stance, tweeting, “I’m with you, Governor. It’s time the federal [government] does their job.”

“Instead of fighting Texas, they should be working with us for a long term solution to secure the border,” he continued. “North Texas has seen too many fentanyl/opioid deaths and child trafficking cases. We need action now.”

Similarly, Cary Cheshire, the executive director of Texans for Strong Borders, responded to the news of the DOJ lawsuit:

“The barriers are in fact hurting the process of what Joe Biden is trying to do — facilitate an invasion of Texas. The Governor of Texas has a moral, statutory, and constitutional duty to protect citizens from foreign invasion.”

The Texas GOP also reacted, stating, “Not only will Biden refuse to secure the border, he will try and stop anyone who does!”

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