The U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of Texas in a critical dispute over border security on Tuesday, blocking the Biden administration from dismantling razor wire barriers along the Lone Star State’s border with Mexico. The ruling is the latest chapter in the ongoing conflict between several states and the Biden administration over its open borders policies.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton praised the court for ruling in favor of his state’s right to defend itself in the face of the Biden White House’s radical policies. He emphasized the necessity of the contested barriers to combat what he described as an “historic invasion of unvetted foreign aliens.” The court’s ruling bars federal agents from “damaging, destroying, or otherwise interfering with Texas’s concertina wire fence in the vicinity of Eagle Pass, Texas,” unless for medical emergencies.
🚨BREAKING: I am very pleased the appellate court has forbidden federal agents sent by the Biden administration from destroying our concertina wire fences. Given the ongoing disaster at the southern border due to the federal government’s intentional actions, more than ever it is… pic.twitter.com/M8IME2ycix
— Attorney General Ken Paxton (@KenPaxtonTX) December 20, 2023
This week’s ruling comes after Texas sued the Biden administration in October to challenge the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) order to federal border agents to cut concertina wire fencing installed by the state along the border. Texas argued in the lawsuit that DHS was illegally destroying its property while actively working to compromise its border security efforts.
Gov. Greg Abbott (R) has been the leading proponent of Texas’ security measures, including Operation Lone Star, which surged resources and law enforcement to the border. Earlier this month, he signed legislation allowing Texas law enforcement officers to arrest individuals suspected of entering illegally.
Legal Update: Federal Appellate judge forbids Biden admin from removing Texas' border barriershttps://t.co/nwm6h2JQ8z
— Trump2024_no_matter_what (@TexasTrump2024) December 21, 2023
The law also imposes criminal penalties and gives Texas authorities the power to deport trespassing illegal migrants from the state. The effort to protect Texas citizens and property in the face of federal indifference has been roundly condemned by the White House and progressive civil rights groups.
The legal battle between Texas and the Biden administration extends beyond the wire barriers. Earlier this month, the same appeals court ordered Texas to remove floating barriers along the Rio Grande. However, the court’s latest decision on land barriers indicates a possible shift, recognizing Texas’s rights as the legal owner of state territory with a sovereign duty to protect its lawful residents.
President Donald Trump has also recently weighed in on the issue, pledging to immediately re-prioritize border security upon retaking office.