Federal Judge David Alan Ezra pointedly ordered Texas to remove floating barriers in the Rio Grande and barred the state from building new or placing additional buoys in the river, according to a Wednesday court filing. Via CNN:
The border buoys have been a hot button immigration issue since they were deployed in the Rio Grande as part of Gov. Greg Abbott’s border security initiative known as Operation Lone Star. The Justice Department had sued the state of Texas in July claiming that the buoys were installed unlawfully and asking the judge to force the state to remove them.
In the lawsuit, filed in US District Court in the Western District of Texas, the Justice Department alleged that Texas and Abbott violated the Rivers and Harbors Appropriation Act by building a structure in US water without permission from United States Army Corps of Engineers and sought an injunction to bar Texas from building additional barriers in the river. The Republican governor, meanwhile, has argued the buoys are intended to deter migrants from crossing into the state from Mexico.
Texas will appeal the judge’s order.
“This ruling is incorrect and will be overturned on appeal. We will continue to utilize every strategy to secure the border, including deploying Texas National Guard soldiers and Department of Public Safety troopers and installing strategic barriers,” Abbott’s office said in a statement, adding that the state “is prepared to take this fight all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.”
Let’s not forget, these are more than just buoys. They have razors attached: