In a closely divided decision, the Supreme Court granted permission on Monday for Border Patrol agents to remove or relocate the razor wire installed by Texas along the U.S.-Mexico border as part of the state’s initiative to curb illegal border crossings.
The emergency request, filed by the Biden administration, was approved by a 5-4 vote in the court. The administration had contended that Texas’ actions were impeding the agents from fulfilling their responsibilities.
The concise order indicated that four of the nine justices, who lean conservative, would have opposed the government’s appeal. These justices are Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh.
The Biden administration contends that the presence of razor wire obstructs Border Patrol agents from reaching migrants who have already entered the United States.
Texas Gov. Gregg Abbott (R), a member of the Republican party, implemented the placement of razor wire along the Rio Grande in Eagle Pass as a component of an operation aimed at tackling illegal immigration. This initiative has led to conflicts between the state of Texas and the Biden administration.
This is not over.
Texas' razor wire is an effective deterrent to the illegal crossings Biden encourages.
I will continue to defend Texas' constitutional authority to secure the border and prevent the Biden Admin from destroying our property.https://t.co/pV7Cuq57d1
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) January 22, 2024
A spokesperson from the White House commented on Monday, stating, “Texas’ political stunts, like placing razor wire near the border, simply make it harder and more dangerous for frontline personnel to do their jobs. Ultimately, we need adequate resources and policy changes to address our broken immigration system.”
Texas filed a lawsuit after Border Patrol agents severed sections of the razor wire, alleging that these agents had unlawfully trespassed and caused damage to state property.
Initially, a federal judge ruled in favor of the Biden administration. However, last month, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals based in New Orleans overturned that ruling, asserting that agents were only permitted to cut or relocate the wire in cases of a medical emergency.
Governor Abbott’s immigration enforcement strategy, known as Operation Lone Star, encompasses the transportation of thousands of migrants to cities governed by Democrats and the apprehension of migrants on charges of trespassing. Previously, the state had deployed buoys in the Rio Grande to deter crossings, which led to a lawsuit by the Biden administration. The barrier continues to stand while legal proceedings are ongoing.
The Department of Homeland Security expressed its approval of the Supreme Court’s decision.
A spokesperson said, “Enforcement of immigration law is a federal responsibility. Rather than helping to reduce irregular migration, the State of Texas has only made it harder for frontline personnel to do their jobs and to apply consequences under the law.”