A U.S. Appeals Court has granted Texas an emergency stay, allowing the state to maintain the barriers it installed in the Rio Grande, at least temporarily. This decision comes in response to a federal judge’s order in Austin, issued a day prior, which mandated Texas to relocate the barriers to the riverbank on the Texas side by September 15.
Furthermore, the state was instructed not to add any more structures to or within the river pending the final outcome of the Department of Justice’s lawsuit. The granted stay is in effect “pending further order of the Court,” as stated in the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals’ filing. The Fifth Circuit is expected to conduct a full hearing with arguments from both sides regarding the barriers’ placement in the Rio Grande River.
The Department of Justice initiated the lawsuit against the State of Texas in July, contending that Texas lacked the authority to place the barriers in the river, as it was beyond the state’s jurisdiction.
“The Court is directing that the buoy barrier be moved from the main waters of the Rio Grande River to the riverbank, rather than removal entirely from the river, so that the barrier does not impede or impair in any way navigation by airboats or other shallow draft craft along the Rio Grande River,” according to a footnote in Judge David Alan Ezra’s ruling. “The evidence has established that this can be done in a rather expeditious manner, as the Governor himself ordered movement of the buoy barrier, which the federal government maintained was in part in Mexican waters to a position closer to the United States side of the river.”
Gov. Abbott called the ruling “incorrect” in a statement on Wednesday.
“Today’s court decision merely prolongs President Biden’s willful refusal to acknowledge that Texas is rightfully stepping up to do the job that he should have been doing all along. This ruling is incorrect and will be overturned on appeal,” his statement read. “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. Our battle to defend Texas’ sovereign authority to protect lives from the chaos caused by President Biden’s open border policies has only begun. Texas is prepared to take this fight all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.”
The news comes amidst reports that the Biden administration intends to implement a “remain-in-Texas” policy to keep unauthorized migrants from entering the United States beyond the Lone Star State and going to Democrat-run cities.
Under the Biden plan, certain migrant families would be compelled to stay in Texas, or possibly other border states, with their locations monitored via GPS tracking devices like ankle bracelets, the LA Times reported on Thursday.