Nov 30, 2023 - Politics & Policy

Judge rejects Texas bid to stop agents cutting border razor wire

Layers of razor wire line the banks of the Rio Grande River in Eagle Pass, Texas, on Oct. 11, 2023. Photo: Jordan Vonderhaar/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Texas lawmakers' effort to block the Biden administration from removing razor wire fencing along the U.S.-Mexico border was blocked by a federal judge on Thursday.

The big picture: Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) has been battling with the administration over keeping razor wires and buoy barriers with blades along the Southern border as the state reports a surge in the number of migrants attempting to enter the country amid a wider global humanitarian crisis.

  • U.S. District Judge Alia Moses had previously granted Texas officials a temporary restraining order in the case, but on Thursday denied the state's request due to insufficient evidence that U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents cutting the wire had violated the law.
  • Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said Thursday he'd appeal the ruling.

Of note: In her ruling, Moses left open for Texas the chance to prove its case in the future and criticized the way the Biden administration had carried out its immigration policies.

  • "The immigration system at the heart of it all, dysfunctional and flawed as it is, would work if properly implemented," wrote the George W. Bush appointee.
  • "What follows here is but another chapter in this unfolding tragedy. The law may be on the side of the Defendants and compel a resolution in their favor today, but it does not excuse their culpable and duplicitous conduct."

Context: Texas installed miles of barriers using barbed wire and buoys in the river near Eagle Pass, a section of the border that has seen the second highest number of migrant crossings this fiscal year.

  • The Justice Department sued the state in order to remove the barrier of buoys in the Rio Grande.

Meanwhile, Paxton (R) is suing the Biden administration in an attempt to stop agents "cutting, destroying, or otherwise damaging Texas's concertina wire" that the lawsuit states "had been strategically positioned for the purpose of securing the border and stemming the flow of illegal migration."

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