Texas Floats a New Border Wall in the Middle of the Rio Grande
In its latest move to block river crossings from Mexico, Texas plans to install marine barriers in the Rio Grande. Advancing the state’s frontline enforcement efforts, Gov. Greg Abbott said the network of rotating buoys “will allow us to prevent people from even getting to the border.”
The buoys supplement other state measures, including the deployment of National Guard troops and the installation of concertina wire in high-traffic areas. In May, state troopers repelled some 50 migrants attempting to cross the river near Brownsville in what was called a “Texican Standoff.”
Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) Director Col. Steve McCraw said the first 1,000-foot stretch of buoys will be placed by July 7 at Eagle Pass, a busy illegal crossing point across the Rio Grande from Piedras Negras. The buoys will range in size but will be about four feet long, he said.
“This was something that the Border Patrol had already looked at, designed, and even tested,” McCraw said. But it took Texas to actually make it happen.
Plans call for additional marine barriers to be placed in the middle of the river in areas where the international border runs between Texas and Mexico. These will provide state forces more time to muster and respond when swimmers start arriving at the buoys, according to a report by the Center for Immigration Studies.
Though the rotating buoys are virtually impossible to clamber over, Texas authorities are aware migrants could try to swim under the barrier. So internal discussions are underway about using underwater webbing to deter such attempts.
As with land-based walls, “The whole design is to block the thousands, not the one” who might get around it, a state official said.
Of course, no reasonable law-enforcement program passes muster with open-borders activists or avoids hyperbolic condemnation. Rodolfo Rosales, director of the Texas chapter of the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), denounced Abbott’s buoys as “a chilling reminder of the extreme measures used throughout history by elected leaders against those they do not regard as human beings, seeking only to exterminate them.”
Amid this rhetorical waterboarding of Texas officials, Rosales offers no critique of Washington’s failure to enforce even basic immigration law. Evidently, LULAC is okay with inert, ad-hoc policies that embolden and profit human-smuggling cartels while encouraging more migrants to risk dangerous journeys to the border.