A federal judge in the Western District of Texas has granted a temporary restraining order against the Biden administration, effectively blocking them from removing or damaging the concertina wire deployed at the U.S.-Mexico border by the state of Texas.
The State of Texas filed an emergency motion against several defendants, including the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Alejandro Mayorkas (Secretary of DHS), U.S. Customs & Border Protection (CBP), and other related officials.
The motion was filed in response to federal officials destroying Texas’ property by cutting the state’s concertina wire near the border. Texas believes this action is intended to facilitate the entry of migrants into the country.
The lawsuit was initiated on October 24, after Texas claimed that federal officials had accelerated the destruction of the state’s property since September 20, 2023. The state provided evidence, including pictures, videos, and official declarations, detailing specific instances when the federal government allegedly damaged the property, allowing migrants to enter.
BREAKING: A federal judge has issued a temporary restraining order which blocks the Biden administration from cutting or removing razor wire deployed at the border by the state of Texas. https://t.co/AF6LikCaCp
— Bill Melugin (@BillMelugin_) October 30, 2023
The court granted the temporary restraining order, showing the need to maintain the status quo until a more detailed preliminary injunction hearing can be held. The court also noted the potential irreparable harm to Texas, as the destruction of the concertina wire undermined the state’s control over its property and imposed costs that cannot be recovered due to the government’s sovereign immunity.
BREAKING: Judge grants temporary order to block Biden from cutting razor wire installed by Texas pic.twitter.com/3LAANLSRzn
— End Wokeness (@EndWokeness) October 30, 2023
In the suit, Attorney General Ken Paxton acknowledged the public interest in deterring unlawful activities, including illegal entry, human trafficking, drug smuggling, and potential terrorist infiltration. The Biden Administration has filed a number of lawsuits against the Lonestar State over efforts the state has taken to stem the flow of illegal aliens on the southern border.
“By cutting Texas’s concertina wire, the federal government has not only illegally destroyed property owned by the State of Texas; it has also disrupted the State’s border security efforts, leaving gaps in Texas’s border barriers and damaging Texas’s ability to effectively deter illegal entry into its territory,” read the lawsuit, which was filed earlier last week.
In response to record numbers of illegal entries, Texas installed razor wire fencing in the heavily trafficked Eagle Pass border crossing earlier this year. In one instance, a Border Patrol agent fist-bumped a newly arrived migrant as he strolled across the border.
Border Patrol officials have contended that the agency has a legal obligation to take migrants into custody when encountered. In the instances where fencing was cut, border officials have argued that migrants were already on U.S. soil and were then required to be allowed past the barriers.
“The reality of the law is that once they’re in the United States, they have to be taken into custody, that barbed wire is in the United States, it’s already inland,” Art Del Cueto, Vice President of the National Border Patrol Council, told News Nation last month. “When those individuals reach the barbed wire, it is the job of the agents to detain them and protect them into custody.”
The lawsuit highlighted that DHS has used razor wire fencing in the past and acknowledged that it serves as a “deterrent” to prevent illegal crossings. Paxton also noted that the wire was installed in September when the Eagle Pass crossing was dealing with unprecedented surges in migrant crossings.