Republican Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s efforts to deter illegal immigration were dealt a major setback on Wednesday when a federal judge ruled in favor of the Biden administration and ordered the removal of the floating border barrier set up by Abbott’s office.
The barrier, consisting of 1000-feet of buoys, was intended to prevent those seeking entry into the U.S. through wading or swimming across the Rio Grande.
In his ruling, Judge David A. Ezra stated that according to federal law, Abbott must obtain permission before installing any obstructions in navigable waters; unfortunately for Texas, this was not done in this case.
Illegal alien activists have spoken out against Abbott’s tactics as “inhumane and unjust,” with Carolina Canizales citing them as symbols of “hate-filled and inhumane policies.”
However, Abbott is not willing to back down without a fight; he plans to appeal the court decision and continue utilizing every strategy available—including deploying National Guard troops and Department of Public Safety troopers—to keep the border secure.
The lawsuit brought forward by the Department of Justice alleges that Abbott had failed to obtain authorization from the US Army Corps of Engineers before constructing his barriers in navigable water. Furthermore, it claims that such an installation has potentially damaging implications for foreign relations with Mexico.
Judge Ezra’s ruling states that based on these arguments there is a likelihood that Texas would succeed if they appealed their case, however he also stipulated that all barriers must be removed by September 15th regardless—a timeline which Governor Abbot seems determined to challenge.
“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,” wrote federal District Judge David A. Ezra in his ruling.
“Unfortunately for Texas, permission is exactly what federal law requires before installing obstructions in the nation’s navigable waters,” he added.
Illegal alien activists have called Abbott’s efforts to end illegal immigration inhumane and unjust.
“The buoys are a symbol of the hate-filled and inhumane policies Gov. Abbott has embraced as he continues to wage war on immigrants seeking to make better lives for themselves, as millions of other immigrants have done for hundreds of years in this country,” said activist Carolina Canizales.
Abbott’s office immediately said that it would appeal the ruling.
“Today’s court decision merely prolongs President Biden’s willful refusal to acknowledge that Texas is rightfully stepping up to do the job that he should have been doing all along,” read a statement from Abbott.
“We will 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,” the statement added.
The U.S. Department of Justice had filed the lawsuit against Texas in July and argued that the governor had not obtained the necessary authorization for the barrier. The lawsuit also claims that the barrier threatens foreign relations with Mexico.
Ezra went on in his ruling to opine that the lawsuit would likely succeed on the basis that Texas needs a permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in order to construct barriers in navigable water. He has ordered Abbott to remove the barriers by Sept. 15.
Both sides are entrenched in their stances on this issue, while Republican Governor Greg Abbot believes his actions are necessary for preserving national security and protecting borders from illegal immigrants crossing over from Mexico, many activists argue such measures are cruel and unjustified given how difficult it already is for refugees seeking asylum within America’s borders due to current immigration laws.
This topic has been a source of debate among conservatives for some time now, while some maintain stricter security measures need to be put into place along America’s borders.
Erica Carlin is an independent journalist, opinion writer and contributor to several news and opinion sources. She is based in Georgia.