Supreme Court grants request to remove razor wire deployed by Texas governor on Mexico border to deter migrants

Tuesday 23 January 2024

Border Patrol agents have been given permission to remove razor-wire deployed a Texas governor to deter illegal border crossings from Mexico.

In a 5-4 decision, judges at the US Supreme Court granted a request by Joe Biden's administration to set aside an earlier ruling that prevented agents from disturbing the fence.

Texas has increasingly sought to implement its own border controls, which come under the legal domain of the federal government.

The body of a migrant who drowned in the Rio Grande is pulled from the river

The ruling is being seen as a significant victory for President Biden who has frequently clashed with Texas Governor and Republican Greg Abbott over border policy.

Last month, a woman and two children drowned in the Rio Grande as they tried to the enter the US from Mexico after Texas military officers prevented federal border officials from going to their aid.

The migrants were attempting to cross the river near Shelby Park in Eagle Pass, which is not a legal port of entry, and where the Texas National Guard this week added the new wire.

VIDEO: Migrant family crosses into the US

Donald Trump to intensify immigration crackdown

US braced as tens of thousands of migrants mass at border

The deaths prompted the Biden administration to press for the Supreme Court to intervene.

The Circuit Court of Appeals, which issued the disputed interim ruling, is set to hear arguments on next month over whether Border Patrol agents violated Texas law by cutting the razor-wire.

Texas sued the Biden administration in October 2023 over what it said was an intensified practice by border agents of cutting, destroying or otherwise damaging the fence the state had strategically placed on private land with the permission of landowners.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott who frequently clashes with President Biden over border policy.

The dispute was of broader antagonism between the governor Abbot and the Biden administration over a record-breaking number of migrants illegally crossing the border since Biden took office in 2021.

Republicans have criticised Biden's immigration policies and the flow of illegal entries across the border.

The White House welcomed the Supreme Court's decision: "Ultimately, we need adequate resources and policy changes to address our broken immigration system.... That is why he (Biden) is working to find a bipartisan agreement with Congress that includes additional resources and meaningful policy reforms," a spokesperson said in a statement.

Advertisement

Advertisement

Advertisement