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Court Says Abbott Can Keep Border Buoys For Now

An appeals court said that Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott can keep his floating buoy barrier at the southern border in place for the time being, according to a Monday court filing.

The decision from the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals is temporary until a final decision is made in the case, according to the filing. U.S. Judge for the Western District of Texas David Alan Ezra, who was appointed by then-President Ronald Reagan, ruled Wednesday that Texas’ actions have “irreparably” harmed “public safety, navigation, and the operations of federal agency officials in and around the Rio Grande” after the Biden administration sued.

“With respect to the buoy barrier that is currently in place, this is a Preliminary Injunction and not a final disposition of this case on the full merits, so this Court is counseled to act in a measured way. As a result, the Court is directing that the buoy barrier be moved from the main waters of the Rio Grande River to the riverbank, rather than removal entirely from the river, so that the barrier does not impede or impair in any way navigation by airboats or other shallow draft craft along the Rio Grande River,” Ezra wrote in his ruling.

Abbott quickly appealed Ezra’s ruling.

“Today’s court decision merely prolongs President Biden’s willful refusal to acknowledge that Texas is rightfully stepping up to do the job that he should have been doing all along,” Abbott said in a statement Thursday regarding the judge’s ruling.

Abbott announced the border barrier in June in an effort to address a surge in illegal immigration into his state.

Border Patrol recorded the highest level of illegal immigration on record, when roughly 2.2 million crossed the southern border illegally in fiscal year 2022, according to the Congressional Research Service.

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