A federal appeals court ruled Friday that Texas must take down its buoy barrier on the border with Mexico in the Rio Grande, citing threats to navigation and human life.
The United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit also cited potential disruptions to federal government operations in the Rio Grande when it upheld a lower court ruling in the 2-1 decision.
Judge David Alan Ezra, a district judge in Hawaii currently helping with the heavy legal workload in western Texas, criticized Republican Gov. Greg Abbott for Operation Lone Star in the initial findings.
"Gov. Abbott announced that he was not 'asking for permission' for Operation Lone Star, the anti-immigration program under which Texas constructed the floating barrier," Ezra wrote at the time.
"Unfortunately for Texas, permission is exactly what federal law requires before installing obstructions in the nation's navigable waters," he added.
While his order issuing a temporary injunction on the buoys was tossed out by the Fifth Circuit, pending the results of the wider case, the appeals court eventually sided with him.
Abbott started Operation Lone Star to aid state forces in responding to a record number of illegal border apprehensions over the past two years. Part of that policy was the placement of the river buoys.
The buoys first started to appear around July 10, and roughly one month later, authorities found an unidentified dead body stuck between two buoys, The Texas Tribune reported.
Mexico's foreign affairs office criticized Texas for the buoys in a press release shortly after the news broke, characterizing them as a "violation" of the country's "sovereignty."
"We express our concern about the impact on the human rights and personal safety of migrants that these state policies will have, which run counter to the close collaboration between our country and the federal government of the United States," the Mexican office said.
Luca Cacciatore ✉
Luca Cacciatore, a Newsmax general assignment writer, is based in Arlington, Virginia, reporting on news and politics.
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