This is not good.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott (R) has informed the Biden administration that he refuses to comply with the Justice Department’s request to remove floating barriers in the Rio Grande River. He is prepared to take the matter to court in case of any legal action threatened by the DOJ.
According to The Hill, Abbott’s decision comes just ahead of the DOJ’s deadline to remove the barriers, and he believes that enforcing federal immigration laws is essential to address the crisis caused by the administration. He asserts that Texas will exercise its constitutional authority to handle the situation.
The Assistant Attorney General Todd Kim and U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Texas Jaime Esparza had previously warned Abbott about the risks posed by the barriers to navigation and public safety in the river, as well as the humanitarian concerns. They argued that the barriers violated federal law, specifically the Rivers and Harbors Act.
The floating barriers are a part of Abbott’s Operation Lone Star, aimed at securing the border and cover 1,000 feet in the middle of the Rio Grande, anchored in the riverbed.
This disagreement represents a larger rift between GOP-led states and the Biden-led federal government. House Democrats have also been urging the Biden administration to intervene and stop Abbott’s border operation.
The Biden administration’s new immigration policies have been implemented since the end of the Title 42 policy in May. They claim that the new rules encourage legal pathways and have contributed to a decrease in illegal border crossings. However, some immigrant rights organizations criticize these policies, considering them similar to those under the Trump administration and posing risks to migrants.