Advertisement

Judge denies Texas request to bar Customs and Border Protection from cutting razor wire at border

Judge denies Texas request to bar Customs and Border Protection from cutting razor wire at border

A federal judge has denied Texas’ request to bar U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents from cutting or removing razor-wire the state placed along the U.S.-Mexico border.

Despite previously granting the state’s request for a temporary restraining order, Judge Alia Moses said in her ruling Wednesday that Texas had not provided sufficient evidence to prove the federal government broke the law in removing razor-wire.

The state of Texas is currently suing the Biden administration over what they call U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s practice of "cutting, destroying, or otherwise damaging Texas’s concertina wire that had been strategically positioned for the purpose of securing the border and stemming the flow of illegal migration,” according to the lawsuit.

PHOTO: Migrants who crossed into the U.S. from Mexico are met with concertina wire along the Rio Grande, Sept. 21, 2023, in Eagle Pass, Texas.  (Eric Gay/AP, FILE)
PHOTO: Migrants who crossed into the U.S. from Mexico are met with concertina wire along the Rio Grande, Sept. 21, 2023, in Eagle Pass, Texas. (Eric Gay/AP, FILE)

As part of Gov. Abbott’s Operation Lone Star, Texas authorities, including the Texas National Guard, have been installing fencing and barriers, sometimes made of concertina wire.

Placed along the U.S. side of the Rio Grande, U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents have at times cut through, lifted or removed portions of the fencing to allow migrants to be apprehended, processed and sometimes disentangled from the razor-wire.

In Wednesday’s ruling, Judge Moses left the door open for Texas to prove its case in the future and criticized how U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the federal government have executed immigration policies.

“The immigration system at the heart of it all, dysfunctional and flawed as it is, would work if properly implemented. Instead, the status quo is a harmful mixture of political rancor, ego, and economic and geopolitical realities that serves no one,” Moses wrote in the order. “So destructive is its nature that the nation cannot help but be transfixed by, but simultaneously unable to correct, the present condition. What follows here is but another chapter in this unfolding tragedy. The law may be on the side of the Defendants and compel a resolution in their favor today, but it does not excuse their culpable and duplicitous conduct.”

Although the judge conceded that border patrol agents need to cut the fencing to prevent emergencies like “drowning or heat exhaustion,” something Moses carved a caveat out for in the initial temporary restraining order, she also slammed the agency for cutting the wire in other instances without notifying Texas authorities.

The judge claimed many of the emergencies that require the fencing to be removed are of the federal government’s “own creation” and questioned why migrants can’t be allowed access at ports of entry.

“If agents are going to allow migrants to enter the country, and indeed facilitate their doing so, why make them undertake the dangerous task of crossing the river? Would it not be easier, and safer, to receive them at a port of entry? In short, the very emergencies the Defendants assert make it necessary to cut the wire are of their own creation,” she wrote.

MORE: Gilgo Beach suspect's wife's cheek swab matches her DNA on victims

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton appealed the decision on Thursday.

“I am disappointed that the federal government’s blatant and disturbing efforts to subvert law and order at our State’s border with Mexico will be allowed to continue,” he said in a statement. “Biden’s doctrine of open borders at any cost threatens the safety of our citizens, and we will continue to fight it every step of the way.”

Judge denies Texas request to bar Customs and Border Protection from cutting razor wire at border originally appeared on abcnews.go.com