Biden Faces Lawsuit From Texas

Texas has taken legal action against the Biden administration in a bid to halt the removal of razor wire along the state’s border with Mexico. The razor wire has been a contentious issue as it has caused injuries to migrants attempting to enter the United States via the Rio Grande. In a lawsuit filed in federal court in Del Rio, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton accuses the Biden administration of undermining the state’s border security efforts.

According to Paxton, “Texas has the sovereign right to construct border barriers to prevent the entry of illegal aliens.” The use of concertina wire, which resembles razor wire, began in May, just before the end of Title 42, a temporary health authority used to block migrants during the pandemic. The sharp wire was strategically deployed in areas of high migrant traffic along the Rio Grande near places like Brownsville and Eagle Pass, Texas.

The deployment of this razor wire sparked concerns among migrant and environmental advocates who pointed out its damaging effects. Internal complaints were also raised by those responsible for enforcing its use. In July, a state trooper and medic termed the border tactics involving the wire as “inhumane” and documented cases of migrants sustaining lacerations and injuries.

The wire barriers were set up a short distance from the river or at its edge, causing migrants to wait in the water for extended periods, sometimes hours, until U.S. Border Patrol agents could process them according to immigration law. In certain instances, federal agents had to breach the wire to access and assist migrants entangled on the other side.

Texas alleges that incidents of cutting through the wire increased when thousands of migrants waded through the river and reached the Eagle Pass area in late September. The complaint filed by the state asserts that, “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.”

The Department of Homeland Security has not provided a response to these allegations.

The use of razor wire is just one aspect of Texas Republican Governor Greg Abbott’s two-year campaign to bolster measures aimed at preventing migrants from crossing the state’s 1,200-mile border with Mexico.