Texas Governor Greg Abbott Will Not Remove Floating Barrier Despite Justice Department's Lawsuit Threat

'Texas will see you in court, Mr. President,' wrote Abbot in a letter to Biden

Texas Governor Greg Abbott will not remove a floating barrier strung across the Rio Grande River despite the threat of legal action from the Department of Justice. 

The Rio Grande barrier extends approximately 1,000 feet with large orange buoys designed to deter migrants from trying to swim across and illegally enter the United States near Eagle Pass.

In a letter to President Joe Biden, Abbott wrote that the Department of Justice “threatened to sue the State of Texas over the floating marine barriers we have deployed in the Rio Grande River in Eagle Pass” on July 20. 

“Texas will see you in court, Mr. President,” wrote Abbott.

The governor said he has taken actions out of “sovereign interest” in protecting Texas’s border due to his responsibility as “the commander-in-chief of our State’s militia under Article IV, § 7 of the Texas Constitution.”

“Your ongoing violation of Article IV, § 4 of the U.S. Constitution has left me no other choice,” he wrote.

Abbott included copies of previous letters he had sent to the president warning of the crisis at the United States-Mexico border and the need for significant federal intervention. 

“Texas’s action is a side issue,” Abbott told Biden. “The fact is, if you would just enforce the immigration laws Congress already has on the books, America would not be suffering from your record-breaking level of illegal immigration.”

Abbott wrote:

While I share the humanitarian concerns noted in your lawyers’ letter, Mr. President, your finger points in the wrong direction. Neither of us wants to see another death in the Rio Grande River. Yet your open-border policies encourage migrants to risk their lives by crossing illegally through the water, instead of safely and legally at a port of entry. Nobody drowns on a bridge…

If you truly care about human life, you must begin enforcing federal immigration laws. By doing so, you can help me stop migrants from wagering their lives in the waters of the Rio Grande River. You can also help me save Texans, and indeed all Americans, from deadly drugs like fentanyl, cartel violence, and the horrors of human trafficking.

Abbott has taken significant steps to slow the flood of illegal immigration into the US through Texas as well as to highlight the issues created by the Biden administration’s attitude toward the southern border. He launched Operation Lone Star in March of 2021, a joint effort between the Texas Department of Public Safety and the Texas National Guard to prevent human trafficking and drug smuggling as well as tactical border security support. 

“The crisis at our southern border continues to escalate because of Biden Administration policies that refuse to secure the border and invite illegal immigration,” said Abbott in a press release. “Texas supports legal immigration but will not be an accomplice to the open border policies that cause, rather than prevent, a humanitarian crisis in our state and endanger the lives of Texans.”

The Department of Justice accused Texas of violating federal law with the deployment of the floating barrier. The federal agency said the buoy chain raised “humanitarian concerns” and presents “serious risks to public safety and the environment” and could “interfere with the federal government’s ability to carry out its official duties,” per The New York Post.

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