Supreme Court sides with Biden over razor wire border dispute, clearing the way to remove barriers

The Supreme Court sided Monday with the Biden Administration in its ongoing dispute against Texas over the razor wire that the state strung along Rio Grande. This cleared the way for Border Patrol to start cutting through the spools the administration claims endangers migrants.

The court, in a 5-4 decision, overturned a lower-court ruling that barred the Border Patrol’s ability to cut or move state-owned razorwire except for migrants who needed emergency medical attention. Justice Amy Coney Barrett, Chief Justice John Roberts and the three liberals of the court voted in favor.

The ruling is a major blow to Gov. Greg Abbott’s border-security crackdown has been a blow to the governor. It has stretched the limits of immigration enforcement, and prompted multiple lawsuits. These could test the extent that states can go when it comes to securing international borders. A district court judge is currently hearing the full case of razor wire.

The decision of the high court comes at a time when Texas soldiers were blocking the Border Patrol on a 2-1/2-mile stretch near Eagle Pass, in an unprecedented takeover by the state that escalated this dispute. In light of the decision, it was not immediately known if the state will allow the Border Patrol to return to the stretch. This includes a park.


The Texas Military Department, which is overseeing the takeover, did not respond immediately to a comment request. Abbott, the man in charge of the crackdown at border, was on a week-long economic tour in India.

A spokesperson for Governor Abbott said that Abbott “will fight to defend Texas property and its constitutional right to secure the border.”

The Department for Homeland Security (which includes Border Patrol) applauded the Supreme Court’s order.

A spokesperson for DHS said that “enforcement of immigration laws is a federal duty.” “Instead of helping to reduce irregular immigration, the State of Texas made it more difficult for frontline staff to do their job and apply the consequences of the law. We can enforce laws in a safe, humane, and orderly manner.

The Justice Department has claimed that the takeover puts migrant’s lives in danger, citing the drowning of a mother and her two children who died after the state blocked the Border Patrol access to the park. Abbott claims that the state was forced to intervene, and accuses President Joe Biden for refusing to secure border.

The court issued a single paragraph that vacated the lower court’s ruling without explaining the decision. The conservative justices Clarence Thomas (as well as Samuel Alito and Brett Kavanaugh) dissented.

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick called it “extremely frustrating and disappointing” and said Roberts had “let us down again by siding with the liberals in the Court on this critical border issue.”

Attorney General Ken Paxton sued in October to stop Border Patrol agents tampering the wire. He argued that they had no authority to damage state property or seize it that was not on federal land, and that their actions were thwarting border operations at state borders. The conservative 5th U.S. The conservative 5th U.S.

The state takeover, and the drownings of migrants, escalated the dispute in this month. The Justice Department asked the Supreme Court for a ruling to force the state back to the park and allow Border Patrol to return.

According to documents filed in this case, soldiers prevented the Border Patrol from reaching an important staging area under a bridge international and blocked them from using the boat ramp located in the park – the only one along miles of the Rio Grande. According to the filing, the National Guard informed the Border Patrol it would not permit federal agents to apprehend migrant in the area nor allow state troopers turn migrants over for processing to federal agents. Last summer, the park was at the heart of Abbott’s crackdown on migrant crime. The state strung miles and miles of razor-wire along the Rio Grande. State troopers also arrested thousands of migrants for trespassing.

The Justice Department claimed that the takeover prevented Border Patrol agents from quickly responding to emergency situations, even those for which the lower court’s ruling explicitly allowed agents to respond.

In a sworn declaration before the court, a top Border Patrol official stated that the drownings that occurred recently of the woman and her two children had already happened when agents received a distress signal from Mexico. Texas soldiers then blocked federal agents’ access to two other people who were struggling that night in the river. The migrants were saved by a Mexican airboat. They were hypothermic.

The filing stated that it was impossible to know what would have happened had Border Patrol been able to access the area in the past, including with its surveillance trucks which helped monitor the area. “At least, Border Patrol could have taken any steps necessary to fulfill its duties and help its Mexican counterparts with the rescue mission. Texas made this impossible.”

In response, the state claimed that the takeover had no relevance to the razor-wire dispute in front of the court. The state argued the razor wire was meant to deter migrants from crossing into Texas, and that Biden’s border policies encouraged them to do so.

Paxton wrote last week in a document that the loss of human life on the Rio Grande was tragic — and avoidable. “That’s one of the reasons Governor Abbott ordered installation of the concertina-wire at issue in this matter.”