Court Blocks Biden’s Plan to Remove Texas Border Razor Wire

In a Dec 19 ruling, an appeals court temporarily blocked a Biden administration initiative to dismantle razor wire fencing along the Texas-Mexico border.

Texas had installed the fencing to deter illegal border crossings.

The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, based in New Orleans, disagreed with a lower court judge’s ruling that the U.S. government was immune from a lawsuit filed by Texas.

The appeals court found that the federal policy of removing the fencing was potentially in violation of the law.

It issued an order requesting U.S. immigration authorities to refrain from removing the fencing while Texas pursues an appeal of the judge’s ruling. The lower court judge previously declined to stop the destruction of the fencing while the state’s lawsuit was ongoing.

The concertina wire fencing was installed on privately owned land along the Rio Grande River by the Texas National Guard as part of Operation Lone Star.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) initiated the program in 2021 as illegal border crossings surged.

The initiative has led to a number of legal actions, including a lawsuit filed on Dec. 19.

That suit challenges the legality of a new Texas law that grants state officials the authority to apprehend, bring to trial, and potentially remove individuals who have crossed the border illegally.

The state’s lawsuit regarding the razor wire alleges that U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents have increased their efforts to modify or damage fencing that the state placed on private land with the consent of landowners.

In November, a federal judge expressed concerns about the effectiveness of the Biden administration’s efforts to address unlawful entry into the United States.

However, she mentioned that Texas had not yet demonstrated its legal standing to challenge the federal government’s conduct.

The 5th Circuit expressed a different interpretation of the law regarding the U.S. government’s immunity from certain legal claims by states. In their ruling this week, they suggested that Texas’s lawsuit may have a strong chance of success.

“The public interest supports clear protections for property rights from government intrusion and control,” Circuit Judge Kyle Duncan wrote.

‘Ongoing Disaster’

The action was brought by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, who applauded the injunction in a press release on the day of the ruling.

“I am very pleased the appellate court has forbidden federal agents sent by the Biden administration from destroying our concertina wire fences,” he said.

“Given the ongoing disaster at the southern border due to the federal government’s intentional actions, more than ever it is necessary to take every step we can to hold the line.

“I will continue to fight against the Biden administration’s radical policies and work to make Texas a safer, more secure place to live.”

The White House did not immediately respond to The Epoch Times’s request for comment.

The court’s decision came a day after Texas Gov. Abbott signed a border security bill into law that will give state law enforcement broad authority to arrest migrants who have entered Texas illegally and will allow local judges to order such migrants out of the country.

The Dec. 18 move by the Republican governor puts into place one of the nation’s strictest immigration laws and sets up a clash with the federal government, which has authority over immigration policy.

Under the new rules, all law enforcement officials in the state of Texas, including those who are hundreds of miles from the border, would have the authority to detain migrants suspected of entering the nation illegally.

Because the offense is considered a misdemeanor, the judge has the authority to order the defendant to leave the country.

Reuters contributed to this report.

From The Epoch Times

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