A federal appeals court has temporarily halted a lower court's ruling that ordered Texas to remove a floating buoy barrier in the Rio Grande. The barrier, placed by Republican Governor Greg Abbott earlier this year, was intended to deter smugglers and migrants from crossing the border with Mexico. The temporary stay will remain in place until the Fifth Circuit can hear Texas' appeal of the district court order. Lawyers for Abbott argued that moving the buoys would harm Texas's sovereign self-defense and public safety interests. The Justice Department sued Abbott in July, claiming that he did not have the authority to order the placement of the barrier. They also argued that the buoys pose a threat to human life. Mexico has also demanded that the buoys be removed from the river. A recent study by the International Boundary and Water Commission found that most of the buoys were originally placed in Mexican waters. Abbott has vowed to take the case to the Supreme Court if necessary, stating that Texas is stepping up to do the job that President Biden should have been doing. The ruling comes as a setback for Abbott, who has accused the federal government of not doing enough to deter illegal border crossings. The floating barrier has been a point of contention between the Biden administration and Abbott, with the administration arguing that Texas needed permission from the federal government to set up the barrier. The appeals court's decision allows Texas to keep the barrier in place for now, but the legal battle is far from over.
themes: Texas Mexico