Judge orders Texas to remove anti-immigrant barriers from the Rio Grande
A federal judge in Austin (Texas) ordered this Wednesday that the state must remove the barriers installed in the Rio Grande (or Rio Bravo) to prevent the immigration of undocumented immigrants, with the consequent risk that this poses to their lives, as part of the called "operation lone star".
The order is a consequence of the complaint that the Biden administration filed against the state's governor, the ultra-conservative Greg Abbott, arguing that Texas does not have the right to install these structures in federal navigable waterways.
“Governor Abbott announced that he was not seeking permission for his anti-immigration program of building floating barriers,” wrote Judge David Alan Ezra. “Unfortunately for Texas, a permit is exactly what federal law requires before installing obstructions to national waterways,” the justice noted in his ruling.
The judge's order, which requires not placing additional barriers, has a deadline of next day the 15th. However, the governor used platform of “strategic structures”.
The chains of buoys cover more than 300 meters in length in the Rio Grande, the final crossing for those trying to enter the United States. They are anchored in the bed of the channel, propped up on each side by assemblies of rounded blades with serrated edges similar overall to a circular saw.
The assembly was carried out on July 10, just a few days after four immigrants, including a child, drowned while crossing the river. This is one more of the governor's measures, but it has been the most controversial, to which at least a couple of deaths have been attributed, and has created tension with Mexico, which observed in this operation an act of inhumanity, like the same Washington government.
The buoy chains cover more than 300 meters in length
Judge Ezra stressed that he has taken into account in his decision a formal complaint from Mexican diplomacy by establishing the damage caused as a reason to justify the complaint. His resolution is very critical of the arguments put forward by Abbott to defend his installation, especially the idea that the state can take whatever measures are necessary in response to what it unilaterally considers an invasion.
“And the whole argument is to require the court to take additional steps, beyond the unjustified question of whether the federal government has failed to protect Texas from invasion, upholding the assertion of Texas' full power to declare and respond to all types of invasion, including those by non-state actors,” said the magistrate.
“Under this logic, once Texas decides, in its sole discretion, that it has been invaded, it is not in control regarding the means chosen to wage war and this is a stunning statement,” he continued.
Abbott insisted he will continue to make a show of force at the border and criticized President Joe Biden. “Texas has the right to do the work that Biden should do for himself,” the governor replied.
He maintained that the judge's decision is incorrect, that he will seek the amendment and promised that his state will continue using all the necessary strategies to seal the border, an area in which he spoke of deploying the national guard and installing deterrent barriers.
“Our battle to defend the sovereign authority to protect lives in the face of the chaos caused by President Biden's open borders policy has only begun. “We are prepared to fight until we reach the Supreme Court,” he promised.
The Justice Department urged Texas in July to remove the barriers within ten days, based on the state's complete lack of jurisdiction to discuss federal power over immigration and foreign affairs.
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