Supreme court appeal in Texas border fence dispute

The Biden administration appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday to counter a decision by a federal appeals court that temporarily stopped it from removing razor wire fencing along the Texas-Mexico border. This fencing, placed by Texas to curb illegal border crossings, has become a point of legal contention.

Publication: 03.01.2024 - 16:58
Supreme court appeal in Texas border fence dispute
Abone Ol google-news

The administration's request aims to overturn a December verdict by the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans. This ruling barred Border Patrol agents from altering the contested fencing during ongoing litigation.

On December 19, the 5th Circuit countered a federal judge's decision that deemed the U.S. government immune to Texas' lawsuit, which argued that the federal policy of fence removal was unlawful.

The Biden administration argued to the justices that the 5th Circuit's logic could leave the federal government vulnerable to states trying to dictate the enforcement of federal immigration laws through varying state-law regimes.

Additionally, the administration noted that there is no evidence showing the wire effectively deters migrants from entering the United States.

Installed by the Texas National Guard along the Rio Grande River as part of 2021's Operation Lone Star, the concertina wire fencing on private property was initiated by Texas Governor Greg Abbott, a Republican, to dissuade illegal crossings.

Texas' lawsuit, filed in October, alleges that U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents intensified efforts to cut, destroy, or damage the state-placed fencing on privately owned lands with landowner consent.

In November, a federal judge criticized the Biden administration for failing to stop illegal entries into the U.S. However, she ruled that Texas' claims were insufficient to override the federal government's sovereign immunity.

On December 19, the 5th Circuit found that the judge had misapplied a law regarding the U.S. government's immunity from certain state legal claims, suggesting that Texas might succeed in its lawsuit.