DOJ requests immediate removal of floating buoys in Rio Grande River as Texas lawsuit gets resolved
The DOJ filed a civil suit on Monday alleging that Gov. Greg Abbott violated federal law by installing the floating barriers meant to deter migrant crossings.
MORE IN THIS SECTION
The Justice Department is requesting that a federal judge order Texas Gov. Greg Abbott to remove a floating buoy that the state placed in the Rio Grande River as a part of the governor’s multi-agency fight on illegal immigration while a lawsuit regarding the issue is litigated.
“No relief granted at the end of this case would make up for the continuing threat to navigation and public safety that the Floating Barrier will impose while the parties litigate the merits,” prosecutors wrote.
The buoys is the latest battle with the Biden administration over immigration policy.
The governor sent 42 migrants by bus to Los Angeles last month and accused the President in a statement of failing to step up "to do his job and secure the border,” which he said is the reason for having transported over 21,000 migrants from Texas to Democratic-run cities across the U.S. since last fall.
The request comes after the Justice Department filed a civil suit on Monday alleging that Abbott violated federal law by installing the barriers.
According to the 25-page filed Wednesday, federal prosecutors said that a preliminary injunction was needed to prevent "irreparable harm" to foreign relations, public safety and navigation.
They also asked that the judge block the state from building any additional unauthorized structures while the case is heard and tried.
In the lawsuit, the DOJ maintained that the case involves a “straightforward violation” of the Rivers and Harbors Act, which bars the unauthorized creation of any obstruction to the navigable capacity of the nation’s waters.
They also argued that the river is used by a number of federal agencies and obstructing it “poses risks to health and public safety” by hindering travel across it and “forcing vessels to maneuver around it to avoid collision or entanglement.”
According to federal prosecutors, the barrier is harmful to U.S.-Mexico relations, and that Mexico "has raised humanitarian concerns regarding possible loss of life to persons swimming in the Rio Grande."
According to a spokesperson for Abbott, Renae Eze, the state does not plan to back down.
“We will fight this case all the way to the United States Supreme Court to protect Texas’ constitutional authority to deny illegal entry into our state,” Eze said in a statement Wednesday after the Justice Department's request for an injunction.
Abbott’s office announced in June that they’d deploy "new marine floating barriers" to catch migrant crossings in "hotspots" along the large river. Over the course of the last year, Abbott has accused the Biden administration of attempting to cripple his state’s “sovereign interest” in securing its border.