In a significant blow to Texas Governor Greg Abbott, a federal appeals court has ruled to remove the border buoys installed in the Rio Grande near Eagle Pass. The United States Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, based in New Orleans, rejected the state of Texas’s request to overturn a federal judge’s decision, emphasizing that installing these buoys required environmental permits.
The row of 1,000 feet long buoys, placed last July, blocked the passage of migrants from Mexico, generating controversy and triggering protests from the governments of the United States and Mexico. The court considered that the shallow waters where the buoys were placed are navigable, obliging Texas to obtain the corresponding permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers before installing such barriers.
In its 2-1 ruling, the Fifth Circuit confirmed the initial order from a federal judge instructing Abbott to remove the buoys by September 15. The Republican governor’s tactic to curb the flow of immigrants on the southern border has faced criticism and legal challenges.
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In September, federal judge David Ezra of the Western District of Texas ordered the removal of the floating barrier, highlighting that Texas’s conduct “irreparably harms public safety, navigation, and the operations of federal agency officials on the Rio Grande and its surroundings.”
What does this court order represent?
This judicial ruling represents a significant setback for Abbott, who has aggressively defended his efforts to strengthen border security under Operation Lone Star. The governor argues that the Biden administration has been lax on border security, especially at a time when there is a record number of illegal crossings.
The Fifth Circuit’s decision underscores the importance of legal procedures and the need to respect environmental requirements when implementing measures that affect shared waterways between the United States and Mexico.
Our source for this text: Univision.
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