US federal judge orders Texas to remove floating barriers from Rio Grande border with Mexico


The US Department of Justice requested a preliminary order in the dispute between Texas and the US federal government. Senior District Judge David Alan Ezra granted the request. US Senior District Judge David Alan Ezra granted the US Department of Justice’s request for the preliminary injunction pending a final judgment in the dispute between Texas and the US federal government.

Ezra found that Texas’ construction and maintenance of the barrier without permission from the US Army Corps of Engineers likely violates the Rivers and Harbors Act. Under the act, “

he creation of any obstruction not affirmatively authorized by [t]Congress, to the navigable capacity of any of the waters of the United States is prohibited.” However, there is an exception for “plans recommended by the Chief of Engineers and authorized by the Secretary of the Army.” Ezra found that “permission is exactly what federal law requires before installing obstructions in the nation’s navigable waters.” Thus, Ezra concluded that the US demonstrated a “substantial likelihood of success” that Texas violated the act. Additionally, Ezra found Texas’ self-defense argument “in the face of invasion” unconvincing. Ezra ordered Texas to move the barrier until a final decision was reached. Ezra stated that this order was only a preliminary, temporary injunction, and that Texas had to move its barrier in coordination with Corps of Engineers. The US Department of Justice sued Texas after Abbott refused to comply with the federal government’s request to remove the barrier. In response to Wednesday’s ruling, Texas Governor Greg Abbott said:

Texas is appealing. The court’s decision today only prolongs the President Biden’s refusal to acknowledge Texas’ rightful willingness to step up and do what he should have done all along. This ruling will be reversed on appeal. We will continue to use every possible strategy to secure our border, including the deployment of Texas National Guard troops and Department of Public Safety officers and the installation of strategic barriers. Texas is prepared to fight this battle all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. The appeal will go to the US Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. Earlier this month,

Mexican authorities confirmed that they recovered



from the Rio Grande. In response to the bodies recovered, Mexican President Andres Manual Lopez Obrador referred to the buoys as “inhumane.”