Texas must remove the floating barrier that was installed in the Rio Grande to force illegal immigrants to cross through other border crossings. By a 2-1 vote, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the initial ruling from September, confirming that Greg Abbott must remove the barrier, which is approximately 1,000 feet.
According to the court's decision, the river is navigable, so the barrier represents an "obstruction" to the passage. Therefore, Texas should have asked the United States Army Corps of Engineers for permission before building it.
The 5th Cir. Court of Appeals’ denial of Texas’ sovereign authority to secure the border with floating marine barriers is clearly wrong.
AG Paxton & I will seek an immediate rehearing by the entire court.
We’ll go to SCOTUS if needed to protect Texas from Biden’s open borders.
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) December 1, 2023
Governor Abbott spoke out against the decision on his X account, formerly known as Twitter, where he even promised to take the case to the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS).
"The 5th Cir. Court of Appeals' denial of Texas' sovereign authority to secure the border with floating marine barriers is clearly wrong. AG Paxton & I will seek an immediate rehearing by the entire court. We'll go to SCOTUS if needed to protect Texas from Biden's open borders," the Republican wrote.
Abbott initially ordered the deployment of the barrier as part of Operation Lone Star, which aimed to stop illegal immigration along the 1,200-mile border. To do this, about $850,000 was spent on the barrier, comprised of a row of buoys separated by saw blades, which support a submerged mesh network designed to deter migrants from crossing the Rio Grande.