A federal judge has issued an order to the Biden administration to halt the cutting of razor wire on fences along the southern border in Texas. The order came as a result of a lawsuit brought by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, who argued that the federal government did not have the authority to destroy state property for the sole purpose of allowing illegal migrants to enter and be processed.
In his request for an immediate injunction, Paxton stated that federal agents had escalated matters by using industrial-strength equipment to dismantle the border fence. The federal agents reportedly used hydraulic-powered forklifts to rip out the fence, including the concertina wire, fencing posts, and clamps, to allow over 300 migrants to illegally enter Texas. This action by the federal government sparked outrage in Texas and led to the state filing a lawsuit against the Biden administration.
Last week, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) released a statement justifying their actions, claiming that border agents have a responsibility under federal law to protect migrants from being injured, regardless of their legal status. However, this argument was not enough to convince Judge Alia Moses of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas.
🚨BREAKING: Federal judge issues emergency restraining order against Biden Administration that bars DHS and border patrol from “disassembling, degrading, tampering with” Texas wire barriers at the border
— Benny Johnson (@bennyjohnson) October 30, 2023
After reviewing the evidence presented by both parties, Judge Moses found that the state of Texas had met the required four-part test to be granted a temporary hold on the federal government's actions. The court found that the state of Texas would suffer irreparable harm if the federal government's actions were allowed to continue, and that the state had a substantial likelihood of success on the merits of their case.
The judge ordered the Department of Homeland Security to stop "disassembling, degrading, and tampering" with the miles of razor wire running along the Rio Grande near Eagle Pass. However, the judge also noted one exception to the order, stating that it would not apply in the case of a medical emergency when there are no other life-saving measures available, and serious bodily injury or death is likely.
The temporary restraining order will remain in place until the parties have an opportunity to present further evidence at a preliminary injunction hearing, scheduled for November 7. The Department of Justice, which is handling the litigation, declined to comment on the judge's order.
Federal judge orders Biden Admin to stop cutting razor wire along Texas-Mexico border.
Another win for Texas & our historic border mission.
Biden created this crisis & has tried to block us at every turn.
Attorney General Paxton & I are pushing back.https://t.co/b0xhFaSCqJ
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) October 30, 2023
This ruling is a significant victory for the state of Texas and serves as a reminder that federal authorities must abide by the rule of law, even in matters concerning immigration and border security. The state of Texas has shown that it is willing to take strong action to protect its borders and citizens, and this ruling demonstrates that they have a strong case against the federal government's actions. The temporary hold on cutting the razor wire provides a brief reprieve, but the ultimate decision on this matter will be made after the preliminary injunction hearing. This case will continue to be monitored closely as it could have significant implications for immigration and border security policies in the future.