The Department of Justice says it intends to sue Texas Gov. Greg Abbott over the use of a floating buoy border barrier to stop illegal immigration into the state — a move that immediately drew a fiery response from the Republican governor.
The DOJ wrote to Abbott in a letter, which was first reported by the Houston Chronicle, that “The State of Texas’s actions violate federal laws, raise humanitarian issues, present a serious risk to public safety and environment, and could interfere with the ability of the federal government to carry out their official duties.”
Abbott announced in June that the barrier would consist of orange buoys to discourage migrants from crossing the Rio Grande. Installation began this month. Operation Lone Star is a multifaceted effort to address the border crisis in the face of what Republicans claim is a leadership vacuum from the federal government.
The move was criticized by the Mexican government and the U.S. Federal Government, as well as immigration activists who said that the move was inhumane and illegal.
Texas officials have said that this latest plan will discourage people who attempt to cross the treacherous River. The installation of the buoys is expected to last about two weeks.
“Any time they enter that water, there is a risk for the migrants.” “This is the deterrent to even come in the water,” Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steve McCraw stated last month.
The DOJ also raised humanitarian concerns, along with other risks.
According to The Chronicle, “This floating barricade poses a danger to navigation and public safety in the Rio Grande River. It also presents humanitarian concerns.” “We intend to seek legal remedies that may include injunctive relief, requiring removal of obstructions and other structures on the Rio Grande River.”
The letter gives Abbott until July 24 to respond.
Abbott replied to the letter on Twitter, saying that Texas has the sovereign authority to protect our border under the U.S. Constitution as well as the Texas Constitution. We have sent numerous letters to the Biden administration detailing our authority. One of these was the letter I personally delivered to President Biden early this year.
Abbott and the Biden administration have had a number of disagreements about the border. The administration accused him of taking inhumane measures, while Abbott accused the administration of exacerbating migrant crises.
The tragic humanitarian crisis on the border was created because of Biden’s refusal to secure the border.
His open border policies encourage migrants to risk their lives crossing illegally through the Rio Grande, instead of safely and legally over a bridge.
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) July 21, 2023
Biden’s refusal of securing the border led to the tragic humanitarian crisis at the border. Abbott said that Biden’s open border policies encourage migrants to risk their lives to cross illegally across the Rio Grande instead of crossing safely and legally on a bridge.
“Texas has stepped up to tackle this crisis.” He said that we will continue to use every strategy possible to protect Texans, Americans, and migrants who are risking their life. “We’ll see you at court, Mr. President.”
The administration has condemned Abbott’s unilateral attempts to address the border crisis, which is now in its third year. Abbott has started border wall construction and installed razor wire. He has also bussed migrants into “sanctuary cities” like Washington D.C. and New York City.
A senior administration official said on Friday that Abbott’s actions are endangering migrants and agents. The official cited reports of drownings, broken limbs, and injuries caused by razor wire.
The official stated that “the Governor’s actions prevent Border Patrol agents from accessing and patrolling the river as well as arresting those who try to enter the country illegally.” “They force agents to cut multiple layers of concertina when responding to a medical emergency.”
The official pointed out that the June border statistics show a dramatic drop in overall encounters, to numbers not seen at the border since February 2021.
“Gov. Abbott undermines the President’s effective plan to enforce border laws, which has reduced illegal border crossings to their lowest level in more than two years,” the official stated.
The border barrier was also criticized by Mexican President Andres Manuel López Obrador. Mexico filed a complaint about the border barrier. Lopez Obrador also used the barriers as a way to interfere in U.S. elections and told Hispanics to not vote for Republicans or Abbott who supports stronger border measures.
He said: “We don’t need to do anything, we just have to tell our compatriots to not vote for the Republican Party or the Governor of Texas who supports these measures.”