The U.S. Department of Justice has sent a letter to Texas Governor Greg Abbott threatening legal action if the State does not remove the recently installed floating border barrier. Governor Abbott responded on Twitter, saying, “We will see you in court, Mr. President.”
Assistant Attorney General Todd Kim and U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Texas Jaime Esparza sent a letter to Governor Abbott claiming the State illegally installed a floating border barrier in the Rio Grande near Eagle Pass, Texas. The letter claims the buoy barrier was installed without the approval of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The DOJ also claims the barrier violates the Rivers and Harbors Act by creating a hazard to navigation on the river according to Breitbart News.
Governor Abbott responded on Twitter and declared, “Texas has the sovereign right to defend our border, under the U.S. Constitution and the Texas Constitution.” The governor added that President Joe Biden’s refusal to secure the border “encourages migrants to risk their lives crossing illegally through the Rio Grande, instead of safely and legally over a bridge.”
In the DOJ’s letter, the government claims:
The floating barrier at issue here is a structure that obstructs the navigable capacity of the Rio Grande River, which is a navigable water of the United States within the meaning of the Rivers and Harbors Act. Texas does not have authorization from the Corps to install the floating barrier and did not seek such authorization before doing so.
Texas’s unauthorized construction of the floating barrier is a prima facie violation of the Rivers and Harbors Act. This floating barrier poses a risk to navigation, as well as public safety, in the Rio Grande River, and it presents humanitarian concerns.
The letter gives the State of Texas until 2 p.m. on July 24 to respond “indicating your commitment to expeditiously remove the floating barrier and related structures.” The DOJ claims it will take legal action if this demand is unmet.
Governor Abbott responded, “We will continue to deploy every strategy to protect Texans and Americans — and the migrants risking their lives.”
“We will see you in court, Mr. President,” Abbott stated.