The US Department of Justice has sent a letter to Texas Governor Greg Abbott, threatening legal action if the State does not remove the recently installed floating border barrier. Governor Abbott responded on Twitter, saying, “We’ll see you in court, Mr. President.”
Assistant Attorney General Todd Kim and US Attorney for the Western District of Texas Jaime Esparza sent a letter to Governor Abbott claiming that the State illegally installed a floating border barrier in the Rio Grande near Eagle Pass, Texas. The letter claims the barrier buoy was installed without permission from the US Army Corps of Engineers. The DOJ also claims the obstruction violates the Rivers and Harbors Act by creating a navigational hazard on the river.
Governor Abbott responded on Twitter and declared, “Texas has the sovereign right to protect our border, under the US Constitution and the Texas Constitution.” The governor added that President Joe Biden’s refusal to secure the border “encourages migrants to risk their lives illegally crossing the Rio Grande, instead of crossing a bridge safely and legally.”
In the DOJ’s letter, the government claims:
The floating barrier in question here is a structure that impedes the navigability of the Rio Grande River, which is a navigable water of the United States within the meaning of the Rivers and Harbors Act. Texas does not have authorization from the Corps to install the floating barrier and did not seek such authorization before doing so.
Texas’ unauthorized construction of the floating barrier is a prima facie violation of the Rivers and Harbors Act. This floating barrier poses a hazard to navigation, as well as public safety, in the Rio Grande River, and presents humanitarian concerns.
The letter gives the State of Texas until 2 pm on July 24 to respond “demonstrating your commitment to promptly remove the floating barrier and associated structures.” The DOJ claims it will take legal action if this demand is not met.
Governor Abbott responded, “We will continue to deploy every strategy to protect Texans and Americans – and the migrants who put their lives at risk.”
“We’ll see you in court, Mr. President,” Abbott said.
Bob’s price serves as associate editor and senior news contributor for the Breitbart Texas-Border team. He is a founding member of the Breitbart Texas team. Price is a regular panelist on Houston’s Fox 26 What is your Point? Sunday morning talk show. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX.