The Justice Department has filed a lawsuit against Texas Governor Greg Abbott regarding the installation of a floating barrier along the Rio Grande. This barrier, consisting of bright orange buoys spanning approximately 1,000 feet, is Governor Abbott’s latest attempt to prevent migrants from crossing into the U.S. from Mexico. The Biden administration has raised concerns about the barrier, citing potential humanitarian and environmental issues.
The addition of these buoys is part of a broader border security initiative in Texas. Other measures include the installation of razor-wire fencing, arresting migrants on trespassing charges, and transporting busloads of asylum-seekers to Democratic-led cities in other states.
Governor Abbott sent a letter to President Joe Biden earlier on Monday defending Texas’ right to install the barrier. He accused the president of failing to take sufficient action to deter migrants from making the dangerous journey to the U.S. In his letter, Abbott made it clear that Texas is prepared to pursue legal action if necessary.
The Biden administration asserts that illegal border crossings have significantly decreased since implementing new immigration restrictions in May. However, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre criticized Governor Abbott’s policies, arguing that they have hindered U.S. Border Patrol agents’ access to the river. She described these actions as unlawful and counterproductive to the president’s immigration agenda.
Last week, the Justice Department gave Texas a deadline to commit to removing the barrier. Failure to comply would result in a lawsuit. In their letter to Texas, the department emphasized that the buoy wall poses risks to navigation, public safety in the Rio Grande River, and raises humanitarian concerns.
Texas deployed these buoys without notifying the International Boundary and Water Commission or the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The government of Mexico has also expressed its concerns, requesting federal intervention on the grounds that the barrier violates international treaties.