Supreme Court Rules Federal Agents Can Remove Border Barriers Set Up by Texas

On Monday, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) decided in a narrow 5-4 ruling that federal border authorities can continue damaging and removing physical barriers installed along the southern border by state law enforcement in the state of Texas.

As reported by the New York Post, the ruling vacated an injunction first issued in December which blocked U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) from removing barriers that had been erected by the Texas government, including barbed-wire fences that had been set up across 30 miles of the border near Eagle Pass. Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Amy Coney Barrett sided with the three liberal justices in the majority, while Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, Neil Gorsuch, and Brett Kavanaugh dissented.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott (R-Texas) has taken steps to secure the border using state assets, due to the Biden Administration’s refusal to enforce border security as part of Biden’s open-borders approach to immigration. This has included barbed-wire fences and buoy barriers set up in the Rio Grande River to deter illegal aliens from crossing the river. Most recently, state troops seized a portion of land near Eagle Pass and began clearing out illegals.

When the Department of Justice (DOJ) sued the state of Texas in December, it claimed that the barbed wire made it difficult for agents to fulfill their duties, as the federal government allegedly has the authority to, “without warrant,” access any land within 25 miles of the border.

“Like other law-enforcement officers, Border Patrol agents operating under difficult circumstances at the border must make context-dependent, sometimes split-second decisions about how to enforce federal immigration laws while maintaining public safety,” the DOJ claimed in the lawsuit. “The injunction prohibits agents from passing through or moving physical obstacles erected by the State that prevent access to the very border they are charged with patrolling and the individuals they are charged with apprehending and inspecting.”

The injunction had been granted by the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals after Texas first filed a lawsuit in October demanding that CBP be prohibited from destroying any further barriers.

Texas has passed several new state laws giving the state greater authority to enforce immigration law, including a law that gives state law enforcement the authority to arrest illegal aliens. SB4 made it a state crime to illegally enter the United States, and thus granted state officials the authority to deport illegals. Although it was signed into law by Governor Abbott in December and is set to take effect in March, the DOJ filed a lawsuit in early January seeking to block implementation of the law.

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About Eric Lendrum

Eric Lendrum graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he was the Secretary of the College Republicans and the founding chairman of the school’s Young Americans for Freedom chapter. He has interned for Young America’s Foundation, the Heritage Foundation, and the White House, and has worked for numerous campaigns including the 2018 re-election of Congressman Devin Nunes (CA-22). He is currently a co-host of The Right Take podcast.

Photo: CIUDAD JUAREZ , MEXICO - JANUARY 02: Texas National Guard hold migrants crossing the Rio Grande River to seek humanitarian asylum before crossing the United States border in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico on January 02, 2024. Despite the efforts of the Texan National Guard, the migrants managed to traverse the river and overcome obstacles, including the barbed wire installed by the authorities. (Photo by David Peinado/Anadolu via Getty Images)