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  • Caitlyn Burge-Surles

DOJ Sues Texas Over New Border Protection Methods

Merrick Garland appoints special counsel to probe Biden's classified documents The appointment comes after the discovery of two batches of classified documents from Joe Biden’s time as vice president.Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images

The Justice Department and Texas Governor Greg Abbott went toe to toe in court on Monday and Wednesday over inflatable floating border barriers in the Rio Grande River near Eagle Pass, deemed unethical by the Biden administration.

According to the Justice Department, the floating buoys violate the stipulations of the International Boundary and Water Commission and were installed on without the approval of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Alicia Barcena, Mexico’s newly-appointed secretary of foreign affairs, initially contacted the United States government of her alarm.

However, in a letter directed to President Biden, Governor Abbott addressed the claims of unlawful activity, stating: “. . . your lawyers’ claim that Texas’s floating marine barriers violateSection 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act misses the mark. In that statute, Congress decreed that ‘it shall not be lawful to build . . . any wharf, pier, dolphin, boom, weir, breakwater, bulkhead, jetty, or other structures in any . . . water of the United States.’ 33 U.S.C. § 403. To state the obvious, that statute does not describe any action by the State of Texas.”

Governor Abbott continued by remarking upon the necessity of Texas’ border security actions due to the inactivity of the Biden administration to maintain border integrity. “In accordance with Article I, § 10, Clause 3 of the U.S. Constitution, I have asserted Texas’s “sovereign interest in protecting [her] borders . . . Your ongoing violation of Article IV, § 4 of the U.S. Constitution has left me no other choice.” Governor Abbott included his previous letters to President Biden at the end of the document, “Instead of belaboring our respective constitutional roles a third time . . .”

The Texas governor’s response follows continuous illegal activity and encounters observed across the United State’s border with Mexico. U.S. Customs and Border Protection reports 2,378,944 encounters in 2022 on the southwestern American border. According to the same report, 144,571 border encounters occurred last month.

Fox News reported that the Department of Justice is concerned about environmental impacts the buoys could pose to the Rio Grande River. Meanwhile, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service testified to Congress that an estimated 500 tons of trash caused by mass immigration have been deposited in the Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge of Arizona alone. Furthermore, more than 300 acres of environmental preservation area in the Buenos Aires preserve have been destroyed due to heavy foot traffic, and cut fences bordering the refuge allow cattle to overrun the existing fauna populations, according to the USFWS. The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality states that the litter at the border “has been shown to affect human health, the environment and economic wellbeing.”

In light of these impacts, Governor Abbott refused to bend to the DOJ lawsuit threat, reiterating the fatalities caused by open border policies and replying, “Texas will see you in court, Mr. President.”


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