AUSTIN (Nexstar) — A buoy barrier along the Texas-Mexico border near Eagle Pass will remain in place as an appeal by the state moves forward in court. A federal appeals court issued a temporary stay of a judge’s ruling to remove the barrier by Sept. 15.
The stay comes one day after Gov. Greg Abbott announced the state would appeal the removal order. The case stems from a lawsuit the Biden administration filed against Abbott in late July over the state’s floating barrier, arguing it violated international and federal law.
The U.S. Department of Justice previously said Texas’ construction of buoys in the river violates the Rivers and Harbor Act, as it obstructs the “navigable capacity” of U.S. water. The filing also notes Texas did not obtain a prior permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, as required by the act.
Abbott ordered the barrier to be placed in the river earlier this summer. The bright-orange buoys are floating in the river just outside Eagle Pass, a border city that has seen about 270,000 encounters with migrants this year.
The DOJ in July warned Texas the state does not have the authority to erect such a barrier in international waters or attempt to enforce federal immigration laws.
“The State of Texas’ actions violate federal law, raise humanitarian concerns, present serious risks to public safety and the environment, and may interfere with the federal government’s ability to carry out its official duties,” the department wrote.
The stay allows the barriers to remain in place while the state’s appeal of the federal judge’s removal order proceeds in court. Abbott has previously vowed to take the case all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.