The Department of Justice has taken legal action against Texas Republican Governor Gregg Abbott for utilizing floating barriers in the Rio Grande River to impede migrants who are illegally crossing the Southern border. Texas authorities began installing the string of buoys in the middle of the river near Eagle Pass, Texas, last week, part of Abbott’s initiative dubbed Operation Lone Star to deter migrants.
Governor Abbott’s recent actions can be viewed as an effort to combat illegal border crossings, which the Biden administration has been accused of failing to address. It is important to mention that both Republican and Democratic administrations have implemented laws that prohibit unauthorized border crossings.
The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court in the Western District of Texas, seeks “to remove all structures and obstructions, including a floating barrier and all infrastructure related to the floating barrier, in the Rio Grande,” according to the court filing.
Governor Abbott responded to the lawsuit by stating firmly, “I will see you in court, Mr. President.”
The Texas border is equipped with 29 established ports of entry where migrants with valid asylum claims can be lawfully processed. Additionally, there are 110 Border Patrol checkpoints along the border. Despite these measures, the United Nations declared the area the “deadliest land crossing in the world” last year.
The Department of Justice’s lawsuit contends that Governor Abbott’s construction of the floating barrier in the Rio Grande River is unlawful and might hinder the federal government’s “official duties.” There are those who believe that the government’s main duty is to uphold the law, especially when it comes to stopping the entry of lethal substances such as fentanyl. In 2021, there were a staggering number of drug-involved overdose deaths in the U.S., with synthetic opioids, primarily fentanyl, significantly driving these fatalities.
The foremost duty of any president is to safeguard the lives of American citizens, whether from external threats or those posed by illegal immigration and drug trafficking. Some argue that President Biden’s refusal to do so constitutes a violation of his oath of office, where he pledged to “faithfully execute” his duties, including upholding the laws of the land.
Former presidents such as Bill Clinton and Barack Obama have expressed their opposition to illegal border crossings and have stressed the significance of enforcing immigration laws. It appears that the current political climate has changed the way the issue is being addressed.
If the courts do not rule in Governor Abbott’s favor, it could be perceived as a sign that laws do not hold the weight they should, allowing presidents to ignore them without facing the consequences. Such a scenario could undermine the foundations of a constitutional republic, leading to accusations of dictatorship and tyranny.