A federal judge has ordered that a floating barrier placed by Texas authorities in the Rio Grande to deter migrants seeking a port in the United States be moved while courts consider its legality.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott, a Republican, has inaugurated a series of anti-immigration measures in a widely criticized initiative known as Operation Lone Star. One of them — launching a 1,000-foot buoy blockade with barbed wire in the Rio Grande — violated federal law, U.S. District Judge David Ezra ruled Wednesday. The Biden administration has sued to have the barrier removed under the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899, which requires states to seek federal permission for such projects.
In a footnote, Ezra threw a truth bombshell at the Abbott administration and the entire conservative movement for their obsession with erecting border barriers.
Ezra agreed that Texas should seek permission first, and he ordered the barrier removed from the water while the lawsuit was pending in court.
“Governor Abbott has announced that he is not ‘seeking permission’ for Operation Lone Star, the anti-immigration program under which Texas built the floating barrier,” Ezra wrote, referring to a tweet from Abbott from March. “Unfortunately for Texas, permission is exactly what federal law requires before erecting obstructions in the country’s navigable waters.”
In a footnote, Ezra threw a truth bombshell at the Abbott administration and the entire conservative movement for their obsession with erecting border barriers. The judge wrote:
This Court supports the objective of reducing illegal immigration and the illegal importation of drugs. However, the vast majority of illegal drugs that enter Texas, and indeed the United States in general, transit through ports of entry using covert means and not through this stretch of the Rio Grande River.
Texas authorities have used extremist rhetoric to portray migrants approaching the US border as part of an “invasion” to constitutionally justify violent, cruel and, fundamentally, unilateral actions. Ezra backed out of that argument, writing that “Texas’ self-defense argument is unconvincing” and that the state’s claim to be invaded “is a non-justiciable political matter that clearly falls within the federal political branches.” “.
Abbott I immediately swore to appeal, but the fiasco is the latest sign that his Operation Lone Star effort is floundering. The Justice Department has already opened a civil rights investigation into the operation, members of the Texas National Guard have complained of poor working conditions and wages, several soldiers linked to the mission are suspected of be committed suicide, and now the buoy blockade has been failed.