AUSTIN (KXAN) — In a temporary injunction Wednesday, a federal judge ordered the removal of buoys along the U.S.-Mexico border at the Rio Grande River near Eagle Pass. The Biden administration filed a suit against Texas Gov. Greg Abbott in late July over the state’s floating barrier, arguing it violated international and federal law.
Under the order, the barrier must be removed by Sept. 15. That is one week from this coming Friday.
The U.S. Department of Justice previously said Texas’ construction of buoys in the river violates the Rivers and Harbor Act, as it obstructs the “navigable capacity” of U.S. water. The filing also notes Texas did not obtain a prior permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, as required by the act.
Abbott ordered the barrier to be placed in the river earlier this summer. The bright-orange buoys are floating in the river just outside Eagle Pass, a border city that has seen about 270,000 encounters with migrants this year.
The DOJ in July warned Texas the state does not have the authority to erect such a barrier in international waters or attempt to enforce federal immigration laws.
“The State of Texas’ actions violate federal law, raise humanitarian concerns, present serious risks to public safety and the environment, and may interfere with the federal government’s ability to carry out its official duties,” the department wrote.
Abbott posted on social media shortly after the ruling was released Wednesday afternoon, saying the state will appeal the ruling. The governor previously vowed to take the case all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.