Gov. Abbott refuses to remove floating border wall, tells Biden ‘see you in court’

Texas Governor Greg Abbott refuses to remove a floating barrier implemented on the Rio Grande as part of a border security initiative, despite federal warnings and threats of legal action.

The Issue: Last week, the U.S. Department of Justice warned Governor Greg Abbott to remove the floating barrier on the Rio Grande by Monday afternoon or face legal action.
* Federal officials deemed Abbott’s actions as presenting “humanitarian concerns” and being “unlawful” in attempts to hinder migration into Texas.
* In response, Abbott sent a letter to President Biden insisting that Texas has the authority to enforce border security measures and stating, “Texas will see you in court, Mr. President.”

The Barrier: The floating barrier, approximately 1,000ft long, was installed near Eagle Pass in early July as part of Governor Abbott’s $4 billion border security initiative, Operation Lone Star.
* While only covering a tiny fraction of the 1,254-mile river, the approximately 4-feet tall and movable barrier can be “deployed strategically” to deter large groups of people from reaching Texas.
* The barrier has webbing underwater to make it difficult to swim below, but it is not impossible to pass through.

Critics’ Perspective: The Department of Justice, U.S. lawmakers, and Mexico have called for the removal of the buoys, stating that their installation did not receive federal approval and might be violating acts and treaties.
* The DOJ pointed out a violation of the Rivers and Harbors Act, while Mexico’s top diplomat, Alicia Bárcena, hinted towards potential violations of 1944 and 1970 treaties on boundaries and water.
* Many Democrats, led by Texas Congressman Joaquin Castro, have characterized the barriers as creating “death traps” for migrants and urged President Biden to prevent their deployment.

View original article on NPR

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