The Department of Justice (DOJ) sued Texas on Monday over the state’s decision to curb illegal immigration with a floating buoy border barrier on the Rio Grande.
The DOJ first announced their intention to sue last week in a letter to Governor Greg Abbott. The lawsuit was filed in federal court in the Western District of Texas on Monday afternoon.
In the lawsuit, the DOJ claimed that the barrier obstructs “the navigable capacity of waters of the United States.” The department noted that Texas officials installed the barrier without permission from the federal government over whether it was safe for the public and the environment.
“The State of Texas’s 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 DOJ previously said in the letter, according to the Houston Chronicle.
The barrier, which is made up of orange buoys, was announced by Abbott in June before being installed in July. The floating buoys are part of Abbott’s Operation Lone Star, which seeks to control the border crisis amid record-high migrant encounters.
The DOJ lawsuit notes that the federal government warned Texas officials that the barrier is a violation of federal law.
“On July 24, 2023, the Governor responded [to the warning] with a letter addressed to President Biden,” the suit says. “The Governor’s letter acknowledges ‘the floating marine barriers we have deployed in the Rio Grande River in Eagle Pass’ and states that ‘Texas will see you in court, Mr. President.’”
Federal officials believe the barrier threatens public safety and poses humanitarian concerns, in addition to navigation-related issues.
“This floating barrier poses a risk to navigation, as well as public safety, in the Rio Grande River, and it presents humanitarian concerns,” the DOJ letter said, according to the Chronicle. “Thus, we intend to seek appropriate legal remedies, which may include seeking injunctive relief requiring the removal of obstructions or other structures in the Rio Grande River.”
Texas officials have defended the barrier by pointing out that it discourages migrants from crossing, which is inherently dangerous.
“Anytime they get in that water, it’s a risk to the migrants,” Texas Department of Public Safety director Steve McCraw said in June. “This is the deterrent from even coming in the water.”
Fox News Digital reached out to Abbott for a statement, but has not heard back.
Fox News Digital’s Adam Shaw contributed to this report.
The post Justice Department sues Texas over floating border barrier in the Rio Grande appeared first on lawyer.bet.