A judge ordered that the state of Texas could keep its border barrier along the Rio Grande pending an appeal from Gov. Greg Abbott (R). The decision temporarily stays another judge’s decision that the Lone Star State had to dismantle a series of buoys placed along the U.S.-Mexico border.
The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals held the decision by U.S. District Court Judge David Ezra earlier this week that ordered the removal of the barrier near Eagle Pass, Texas.
The decision is not permanent, and the court will determine whether or not Texas will be able to keep the buoys in place at a later date.
The barrier was put in place as part of the state government’s Operation Lone Star, which intends to secure the southern border. Texas state leaders have argued that the Biden administration’s approach to border control is too loose.
Attorneys for the state argued that the removal of the barrier would mean that its “appellate rights are effectively lost because the harm is already done to Texas’s sovereign self-defense and public-safety interests.”
“The buoys were deployed under the Governor’s constitutional authority to defend Texas from transnational-criminal-cartel invasion,” the state attorneys argued.
The decision also follows the initial challenge to the barrier by the Department of Justice in July, which argued that the state was not allowed to put the barrier in place. The federal government also argued that the buoys were a “threat to human life.”
The barrier was also protested by the Mexican government.
Texas wins—buoys that help secure the border will stay in place. https://t.co/OyvEGN91hI
— Mayes Middleton (@mayes_middleton) September 8, 2023
Abbott previously argued that the state would “continue to utilize every strategy to secure the border, including deploying Texas National Guard soldiers and Department of Public Safety troopers and installing strategic barriers.”
States along the shared border with Mexico have struggled with hundreds of thousands of migrants who have crossed since the White House announced the end of the Title 42 asylum policy enacted under former President Donald Trump.
Texas has been one of the major locations for migrant crossing, which increased significantly since President Joe Biden took office in 2021.