A federal judge on Wednesday ordered the state of Texas to remove barriers from the Rio Grande, which Gov. Greg Abbott had put in place to deter migrants from entering his state illegally.
The Biden administration filed a lawsuit against Abbott in July, arguing that he had failed to obtain the federal government’s permission to place the buoys on the border between the U.S. and Mexico, CBS News reported.
In his 42-page preliminary injunction order, Judge David Ezra, a Ronald Reagan appointee, directed the state to remove the barriers from the river by Sept. 15.
Ezra wrote that Abbott needed permission to place the floating barriers in the Rio Grande because they obstructed a U.S. navigable waterway in violation of federal law.
A federal judge just ordered Texas to remove the border buoys pic.twitter.com/kH3PMu22oT
— Harrison Krank (@HarrisonKrank) September 6, 2023
The judge also pointed out that the water barrier raised international relations issues with Mexico, which are in the purview of the federal government.
“Mexico vigorously denounces the presence of the barrier, expressing its hope for expeditious removal of the barrier as the first topic at the August 10, 2023, meeting between Foreign Secretary Alicia Barcena and Secretary of State Anthony Blinken,” Ezra said.
“Mexican officials have also raised humanitarian ‘concerns at the highest diplomatic levels’ about possible loss of life to persons swimming in the Rio Grande,” he further noted.
Ezra said that since he is issuing a preliminary injunction and not a final ruling in the case, he is only ordering the buoys to be removed from the “main waters” of the Rio Grande to the riverbank “so that the barrier does not impede or impair in any way navigation … along the Rio Grande.”
Abbott’s office responded to the judge’s ruling, saying the Biden administration’s failure to secure the border forced the state of Texas to act.
The governor pledged that he would appeal the ruling all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, if necessary.
“Today’s court decision merely prolongs President Biden’s willful refusal to acknowledge that Texas is rightfully stepping up to do the job that he should have been doing all along,” a statement read.
Statement from the Office of the Governor on today’s court ruling by the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas. pic.twitter.com/09pfq1UcQe
— Gov. Greg Abbott (@GovAbbott) September 6, 2023
“This ruling is incorrect and will be overturned on appeal,” Abbott predicted.
Abbott promised that other aspects of his strategy to secure the border will continue, including deploying the Texas National Guard and state troopers and erecting barriers.
“Our battle to defend Texas’ sovereign authority to protect lives from the chaos caused by President Biden’s open border policies has only begun,” the governor said.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.