Republican Governor Greg Abbott defies the federal state, claiming on Monday that he has the power to protect the “sovereign” interests of Texas by installing the anti-migrant buoys on the Rio Grande.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott on Monday challenged the Department of Justice, which in turn filed a lawsuit against his state over a floating barrier on the Rio Grande intended to prevent migrant crossings from Mexico.
The department told Texas last week that these large orange buoys near Eagle Pass were obstructing passage on the river and lacked federal clearances.
“This floating barrier poses a risk to navigation as well as public safety on the Rio Grande,” the ministry said, also citing “humanitarian concerns.”
“Texas gives you a date in court, Mr. President.”
In a letter to Democratic President Joe Biden, the Republican governor said Monday he had the power to protect Texas’ “sovereign” interests by installing the buoys and accused the White House tenant of failing in his own responsibilities regarding illegal immigration.
“If you really value human life, you need to start enforcing federal immigration laws,” he wrote.
“By doing this, you can help me prevent migrants from risking their lives in the waters of the Rio Grande,” he added, and concluded, “Texas gives you a court date, Mr. President.”
A Biden administration official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Republicans were “playing political games.”
For several years, elected officials on the right have been indignant at the arrival of illegal immigrants, which they describe as an invasion. Donald Trump and his main rival for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, have both placed the notion of an out-of-control border at the heart of their campaigns.
But the Biden administration counters that the number of illegal crossings has plummeted since new asylum rules were introduced.
“Republican officials don’t want a solution. They want chaos,” the government official said.
The buoys were installed on the Rio Grande this month, as was barbed wire on the shore. According to press reports, migrants got caught in this fence and had to be rescued.
A leaked Border Patrol document also said barbed wire placed by state agents was interfering with its operations.
A few hours after the publication of Greg Abbott’s letter, the Department of Justice filed a complaint against Texas and its governor. He says in the text that Texas had to get permission before placing any structure on the Rio Grande and asks the court to order the Southern State to remove it.
Source: BFM TV