Judge orders Texas to remove buoy barrier along Mexican border

Washington, Sept 6 (EFE).- A federal judge in Texas on Wednesday ordered the state government to remove a buoy barrier installed on the Rio Grande on the southern border of the United States.

Judge David Ezra, of the Western District of Texas, set a deadline of September 15 to comply with the order, saying in his ruling that the 300-meter-long barrier constitutes an “obstruction to the navigable capacity” of the Rio Grande.

The judge reprimanded the Republican-led state government for failing to seek federal approval before installing the barrier.

“Governor Abbott announced that he was not ‘asking for permission’ for Operation Lone Star, the anti-immigration program under which Texas constructed the floating barrier,” said the ruling. “Unfortunately for Texas, permission is exactly what federal law requires before installing obstructions in the nation’s navigable waters.”

The ruling also prohibits Texas from reinstalling buoys or any type of structure on the river, a victory for the Joe Biden administration, which brought the original lawsuit against the floating barrier to court.

During the trial, the Texas government defended the installation of the buoys by accusing the Democratic administration of failing to defend the southern border and claiming “self-defense” because it is being “invaded” by “thousands of aliens…including members of cartels.”

Judge Ezra rejected that argument, saying that if Texas is allowed to decide “in its sole discretion” that it has been invaded and that it can respond with “no oversight” with its “chosen means of waging war,” that would give the Governor of Texas “more power than is possessed by the President of the Unites States.”

“The Texas Governor could essentially declare and wage war indefinitely at the Texas Border without Congressional authorization or oversight of any kind,” the ruling said. Adding that the claim was “breathtaking.

In addition, Ezra found that the state government had failed to provide “any credible evidence that the buoy barrier as installed has significantly curtailed illegal immigration across the Rio Grande River” and that the barrier posed a “threat to human life.”

In early August, US authorities found the bodies of two migrants floating in the river near the buoys.

The controversial barrier is part of “Operation Lone Star,” a campaign launched by the Greg Abbott administration to address migration in the state and show its opposition to Biden’s policies.

The campaign has also been responsible for sending buses of migrants to Democratic-held cities, which drew media attention last year, and installing miles of razor wire along the border with Mexico, among other measures.

The Mexican government has repeatedly called on the US to remove the barrier, claiming that most of the buoys are on its territory.

The International Boundary and Water Commission, a binational body, backed up this claim in a report submitted to the court, concluding that the vast majority of the buoys are on the Mexican side. EFE


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