A federal judge in Texas has issued a temporary restraining order that prevents federal Border Patrol agents from cutting concertina wire placed by the state along the Rio Grande to deter migrants from crossing from Mexico. This order comes as part of a lawsuit filed by the state attorney general, Ken Paxton, who claims that federal agents are illegally destroying Texas property. The order halts agents from cutting or moving the wire barriers around Eagle Pass, which have caused injuries to migrants in recent months. It also allows federal agents to cut through the barriers when necessary to assist migrants in medical distress. The judge set a hearing for November 7 to determine whether the restraining order should be extended. This legal battle is part of the ongoing conflict between Texas and the Biden administration over border security.
In addition to the concertina wire dispute, Texas and the Biden administration are also in court over the state’s placement of a 1,000-foot floating buoy barrier in the middle of the Rio Grande. A federal appeals court recently ruled that the barrier could remain in place while the case proceeds. Texas lawmakers are also working on legislation that would make unauthorized entry into the country a state crime and empower the police to arrest migrants across Texas, potentially challenging federal supremacy over immigration policy.
Texas has increased its use of concertina wire along the riverbank as part of a more aggressive approach to deter migrants from entering the state. However, some migrants have been injured by the sharp wire. According to the state’s complaint, Texas has spent around $11 million to purchase over 70,000 rolls of concertina wire, most of which has been deployed on private property with the permission of landowners. The lawsuit claims that border agents have cut the wire numerous times this year to allow illegal crossings into Texas.
Despite these legal battles, Texas continues its efforts to enhance border security, while the federal government aims to balance border security with immigration policies.