Texas wins appeal to keep border barrier, for now
As the legal battle ricochets through the courts, an appeals court has allowed Texas to keep its floating buoys on the Rio Grande River.
As part of the effort to stop migrants crossing from Mexico into the US, buoys were placed in July.
On Wednesday, a federal judge ordered the barriers to be moved by 15 September due to their threat to safety and diplomatic ties.
Texas, however, filed a legal challenge immediately, which has been upheld.
During its review of the case, the 5th US Circuit Court of Appeals granted a temporary stay on the lower court’s ruling.
The state of Texas objected to the relocation of the buoys, arguing that they would jeopardize its sovereignty and safety.
Texas was sued by the Department of Justice over the water barriers for humanitarian and environmental reasons.
A lower court ruling was rejected by Governor Abbott on Wednesday, and he vowed to fight the decision in court.
US District Judge David Ezra, an appointee of former President Ronald Reagan, questioned whether the buoys even deterred migrants.
As installed, the buoy barrier has not significantly curbed illegal immigration, he wrote.
Additionally, Judge Ezra expressed concern about Texas’ actions harming US-Mexico relations.
Vanita Gupta, US Associate Attorney General, said Wednesday that the Biden administration welcomed the decision.
In July, Texas began installing the buoys, which will eventually cover about 1,000 feet (305 meters) of the Rio Grande River.
Approximately 270,000 migrants have been detained in Eagle Pass this fiscal year as a result of the floating barrier.
Late in July, the Biden administration filed a lawsuit against Texas over the buoys, claiming the state violated federal law by erecting the barrier.