Judge Allows Texas Razor Wire Barriers to Stand… For Now
A federal judge has ordered Border Patrol agents not to interfere with razor wire that Texas installed to block illegal aliens.
The temporary restraining order by U.S. District Judge Alia Moses allows federal agents to cut the wire only to “provide emergency medical aid” to migrants, some of whom have been snagged by the wire after crossing the Rio Grande at Eagle Pass.
But Moses allowed the razor fencing to remain intact as a court case over the barrier moves forward, with Texas authorities at loggerheads with Washington over border security.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) said it does not comment on pending litigation but will comply with the court’s order.
Declaring that it has “the sovereign right to construct border barriers to prevent the entry of illegal aliens,” Texas started rolling out miles of the concertina wire in May. The barriers were deployed in high-traffic areas such as Brownsville and Eagle Pass.
“By cutting Texas’ concertina wire, the federal government has not only illegally destroyed property owned by the state of Texas it has also disrupted the state’s border security efforts, leaving gaps in Texas’ border barriers and damaging Texas’ ability to effectively deter illegal entry into its territory,” state officials asserted in their lawsuit against the Biden administration.
According to the lawsuit, filed in the Western District of Texas, Border Patrol agents “not only cut Texas’ concertina wire, but also attach ropes or cables from the back of pickup trucks to ease” migrants’ ability to get onto the U.S. side of the river.
Chris Hajec, director of litigation at FAIR’s legal arm, the Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI), said it is his “understanding that Border Patrol committed trespass against Texas’ property by cutting the razor wire. And if Texas put that razor wire there to protect itself from invasion, it had a constitutional right to do so.”
Texas law-enforcement officials recently acknowledged that state troopers have also cut the razor wire when they see migrants’ lives are at risk or when they observe a crime being committed on the other side of the wire and need to apprehend the suspects.
Moses, who was appointed to the federal bench by George W. Bush, will hear arguments from Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s office and the Biden administration on Nov. 7.