Biden administration files lawsuit against Texas over anti-migrant floating border barriers

biden administration files lawsuit against texas over anti migrant floating border barriers

biden administration files lawsuit against texas over anti migrant floating border barriers

The Joe Biden administration filed a lawsuit on Monday against the border state of Texas for trying to block migrants from crossing into the US from neighbouring Mexico, using floating barriers and razor wires assembled along the Rio Grande river.

The Justice Department is asking the US District Court in the Western District of Texas to compel the state to stop building more marine barriers in the border river and to remove the existing ones as well.

By installing a barrier in US water without obtaining the required permission from the US Army Corps of Engineers, Texas and its Republican Governor Greg Abbott have violated the Rivers and Harbours Appropriation Act, the department alleged.

“Texas Will See You In Court”

The floating barrier presents humanitarian concerns and puts navigation and public safety at risk, Associate Attorney General Vanita Gupta said in a statement, adding its presence has triggered diplomatic protests by Mexico and risks damaging the country’s foreign policy.

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On Monday, however, Governor Abbott defied the Biden administration, stressing the state would not order the removal of the structures and would fully utilise its sovereign authority to respond to the border crisis.

“Texas will see you in court, Mr President,” he said. In the wake of the end of the Trump-era Title 42 immigration policy in May, the governor said his government plans to assemble floating barriers to prevent migrants from attempting to cross the border in heavily trafficked areas of the waterbody.

Alleged Mistreatment Of Migrants In Texas

In addition to the deepening controversy over the river buoys, Abbott is facing separate criticism from the White House and several Democratic lawmakers over alleged mistreatment of migrants. Abbott’s office, however, strongly rejects the accusations.

Texas Department of Public Safety has received a number of complaints over Texas troopers reportedly being told to push back migrants into the Rio Grande and ordered not to offer them water despite the soaring temperatures.

Abbott has been prominently attacking Biden’s border policy since the first day the president took office. Speaking to reporters later on Monday, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre called the Texas governor’s decisions “dangerous and unlawful”.

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