A federal appeals judge has ruled that the federal government must stop removing razor wire barriers along the Texas border.
The ruling is a temporary measure while the legal battle over the bans continues — an acknowledgment that the federal government must wait to lift the bans until a federal judge rules on the matter.
“During the pendency of this appeal, the defendants are enjoined from damaging, destroying, or otherwise interfering with Texas. [concertina]A barbed wire fence near Eagle Pass, Texas, as mentioned in Texas’ complaint,” Court wrote.
Terrestrial and floating razor wire barriers have been the subject of a court battle between Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) and the federal government since Abbott ordered them installed in the middle of the Rio Grande as part of Operation Lone Star in September.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton (R) said in a statement Tuesday, “I’m very pleased that the appeals court barred federal agents sent by the Biden administration from destroying our concertina wire fences.
“Given the ongoing devastation on the southern border due to the deliberate actions of the federal government, it is more important than ever that we take every step we can to hold the line,” the Attorney General added.
Abbott and his allies, including Paxton, have tried to portray President Biden as pursuing an “open border policy” even though immigrants are four times more likely to be deported under Biden than under former President Trump.
The federal government, which claims authority to regulate border policy and the nation’s navigable waters, ordered the state to remove the restrictions — and in September a federal appeals judge agreed that the state’s claim that it was vulnerable to invasion did not justify a usurpation of federal authority. In border enforcement.
But Paxton had better luck when he challenged the Department of Homeland Security’s moves to destroy the wire fence that had been set up along the Texas border. Paxton He sued the central government In October and asked the courts to stop Wire removal during the case.
From there, Paxton’s case followed a zigzag now familiar from border and abortion cases: rejection of the state’s claims by a local federal district court, followed by Appeal of the State to a higher court – in this case the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals.
The initial ruling in the case was that the US government had “repeatedly” caused damage[d]Destroy[ed]and exercise[ed] dominion over state property’ and ‘wild[ed] That they want to prevent [Texas] ‘from maintaining operational control over its own property,’” — but rejected the state’s attempt to block removal of the ban on the grounds that the federal government has “sovereign immunity” over border issues.
The 5th Circuit showed some sympathy — earlier this month, the court Affirmed the judgment of the lower court Ordered Texas to remove floating barriers in international waters of Rio Grande.
But the 5th Circuit ruled Tuesday that the state’s case for the barricades on the land is too strong, and the federal government must stop removing barbed wire barriers while the case is pending.
While not ruling on the question of whether the federal government retains exclusive authority over border enforcement, the court found that asserting “sovereign immunity” over such issues did not give the federal government sufficient power to remove restrictions during litigation.
There was a good case to be made that the state’s right to place restrictions on Texas land was subject to the state’s right as an “owner,” and that gave the state a “strong chance of victory” in the final legal decision, the court wrote.
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