Texas Adds to Border Wall in Del Rio

border wall construction
Screengrab of border wall construction in Del Rio, Texas. | Image by Greg Abbott/Twitter

Texas is building more of the wall along the Texas and Mexico border in Del Rio, Gov. Greg Abbott announced on September 12.

Abbott posted a video on X, formerly known as Twitter, that showed a crane dropping a piece of the wall along the border.

The construction is part of Operation Lone Star, which was launched by Abbott in March 2021 to combat “a rise in illegal immigration.”

The plan is a joint border security initiative between the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) and the Texas National Guard.

Since 2021, Abbott has issued a disaster declaration for 48 counties that allows DPS to “use available resources to enforce all applicable federal and state laws to prevent the criminal activity along the border, including criminal trespassing, smuggling, and human trafficking, and to assist Texas counties in their efforts to address those criminal activities.”

The initiative has resulted in the apprehension of over 447,800 unlawful migrants at the border, with more than 34,200 criminal arrests being reported, according to a press release from The Office of the Texas Governor.

Operation Lone Star became particularly controversial following a decision to install a floating barrier along the Rio Grande River.

Abbott first announced these buoys in June, which are meant to “proactively prevent illegal crossings between ports of entry by making it more difficult to cross the Rio Grande and reach the Texas side of the southern border,” as previously reported by The Dallas Express.

Due to the installation of the barriers, the Department of Justice announced a lawsuit against Texas with allegations that the state “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,” said Associate Attorney General Vanita Gupta.

Abbott pushed back on the statements made by the DOJ, claiming that “Texas has the sovereign authority to defend [its] border.”

“To end the risk that migrants will be harmed crossing the border illegally, you must fully enforce the laws of the United States that prohibit illegal immigration between ports of entry. In the meantime, Texas will fully utilize its constitutional authority to deal with the crisis you have caused,” wrote Abbott to President Joe Biden in a letter from July.

A preliminary injunction from U.S. District Judge David Ezra on September 6 stated that the barrier must be moved to the riverbank by September 15.

However, this ruling was paused by the Fifth Circuit of Appeals just one day later, and the barrier is permitted to remain in place indefinitely, as previously reported by The Dallas Express.

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