tiFederal Appeals Court Upholds the Right for Texas to Maintain Rio Grande Barriers
Shared By Peter Boykin – American Political Commentator / Citizen Journalist
Federal Appeals Court Upholds the Right for Texas to Maintain Rio Grande Barriers
Note: This updates previous article
Federal Judge Blocks Texas Border Barrier and Abbott Vows to Defend State
In a significant development, the 5th US Circuit Court of Appeals issued a temporary stay, permitting the state of Texas to retain its floating barriers in the Rio Grande. This decision comes after a lower court judge had previously ordered Texas to remove these barriers at its own expense by September 15. However, the panel’s recent ruling temporarily suspends that order while the appeals court reviews the case, providing Texas with a reprieve from initiating the removal process.
The swift response from the 5th Circuit arrives on the heels of US District Judge David Ezra’s declaration that Republican Governor Greg Abbott needed explicit permission to install these barriers, as mandated by law. Judge Ezra’s ruling was viewed as a victory for the Biden administration.
In his ruling, Judge Ezra emphasized, “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. Unfortunately for Texas, permission is exactly what federal law requires before installing obstructions in the nation’s navigable waters.” Additionally, the judge found Texas’ assertion of self-defense, claiming that the barriers were necessary to address an invasion, to be unconvincing.
The deployment of these controversial border buoys took place as part of Operation Lone Star, Governor Abbott’s border security initiative. In response, the Justice Department filed a lawsuit against the state of Texas in US District Court in the Western District of Texas, alleging that the buoys were installed unlawfully. The Justice Department sought a court order compelling the removal of these barriers.
The lawsuit argued that Texas and Governor Abbott violated the Rivers and Harbors Appropriation Act by constructing structures in US waters without obtaining permission from the United States Army Corps of Engineers. Governor Abbott, on the other hand, defended the buoys as a deterrent against migrants crossing into the state from Mexico.
Texas maintained that it had constitutional authority to deploy the floating barriers. Judge Ezra at times requested that the state’s attorneys focus on the buoys themselves and refrain from delving into broader issues like the presence of fentanyl and overall illegal immigration along the US southern border.
These recent ruling underscores the ongoing legal battle between Texas and the federal government over border security measures, particularly the deployment of these barriers in the Rio Grande.