The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in a narrowly divided decision Monday agreeing with the Biden administration over the Texas-Mexico border and razor wire installed by the state that had prohibited federal border agents from removing the wire.
The court vote of 5-4 cleared the path for federal agents to remove the wire. Government bureaucrats and immigration open-border advocates have called the wire fencing dangerous and inhumane.
The Department of Homeland Security has argued that the state's actions have interfered with the federal government enforcing border enforcement policy.
Texas argued that the border situation is out of control, endangering Texans and ruining property.
Since Joe Biden was inaugurated in January 2021, eight million illegals have crossed the US southern border. It is a trafficking operation the likes of which the US has never seen. Hundreds of thousands of illegal unaccompanied minor have been trafficked across the border.
The bottom line is that the Supreme Court's order allows federal border agents to resume full control over the contested border area while the litigation continues.
Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh ruled they would have denied the Biden administration's request to lift a lower court injunction that was blocking removal of the wire.
The case is one of many ongoing disputes between the Biden administration and Texas when it comes to the southern border and immigration policy.
Texas National Guard soldiers installed razor wire fencing along the Rio Grande on January 10, 2024 in Eagle Pass, Texas as part of Texas' Operation Lone Star, an effort launched by Republican Governor Greg Abbott in 2021 to curb illegal immigration.
The state of Texas sued the Biden administration in October 2023 over what the state called the U.S. Custom and Border Patrol's practice of "cutting, destroying, or otherwise damaging Texas's concertina wire that had been strategically positioned for the purpose of securing the border."
In November, a federal judge ruled that Texas had not provided enough evidence in its request for a preliminary injunction that the federal government had broken the law in removing some parts of the razor-wire, but the court's ruling was very harshly critical of the Biden administration's execution of immigration policies.
"The immigration system at the heart of it all, dysfunctional and flawed as it is, would work if properly implemented. Instead, the status quo is a harmful mixture of political rancor, ego, and economic and geopolitical realities that serves no one," Judge Alia Moses wrote in the order. "So destructive is its nature that the nation cannot help but be transfixed by, but simultaneously unable to correct, the present condition. What follows here is but another chapter in this unfolding tragedy. The law may be on the side of the Defendants and compel a resolution in their favor today, but it does not excuse their culpable and duplicitous conduct."
That decision was immediately appealed by Governor Abbott. The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals then ruled in the state's favor, saying the lower court "legally erred with respect to sovereign immunity" and said the wire could only be cut in the event of a medical emergency.
In its appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, the Biden administration argued that "if accepted, the court's rationale would leave the United States at the mercy of states that could seek to force the federal government to conform the implementation of federal immigration law to varying state-law regimes."
Biden officials also said it would have "serious on-the-ground consequences" like preventing federal agents from access to areas they patrol and their inability to respond to emergencies.
"Balanced against the impairment of federal law enforcement and risk to human life, the court of appeals cited as Texas's harm only the price of wire and the cost of closing a gap created by Border Patrol agents," the administration said.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) on January 14 threatened to take action against the state of Texas for blocking Customs and Border Protection's access to the Shelby Park area in Eagle Pass, Texas.
DHS accused Texas of refusing access to the border on January 12 when a group of migrants were attempting to cross the border and three individuals drowned. The Texas Military Department responded that the claims they blocked access to federal agents were "wholly inaccurate."
"At the time that Border Patrol requested access, the drownings had occurred, Mexican authorities were recovering the bodies, and Border Patrol expressed these facts to the [Texas Military Department] personnel on site," the department said.
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