A federal judge temporarily blocked border patrol Monday from removing barbed wire placed on the border by Texas state authorities.
The state sued the Biden administration last week over the government’s practice of cutting wire Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott instructed state authorities to place along the border in response to increased illegal crossings. In an 11-page order, U.S. District Court Judge Alina Moses, a George W. Bush appointee, temporarily blocked the Biden administration from “disassembling, degrading, [or] tampering with” the wire and set a hearing for Nov. 7 to consider the issue in greater depth.
For the moment, Moses said the only “harm” the court needed to consider is “the cost of the destruction of the Plaintiff’s property, which is the wire barrier.”
“The Court is mindful, however, that the Defendants enacted an extensive scheme, which includes immigration enforcement and the interdiction of migrants,” the judge wrote. “The question then becomes how much ‘harm’ should a state bear if the Defendants are unable to meet their obligations of securing the border and controlling the flow of migrants into the country.”
The Nov. 7 hearing to consider a preliminary injunction will deal with “the intersection of: the private property rights of the persons consenting to the placement of the concertina wire on their land, the Plaintiff’s right to assist private property owners and avoid costs to the Plaintiff; and the Defendants’ responsibilities over national security and border security, and its powers to effectuate its duties, up to and including the destruction of private or state property,” Moses wrote.
The temporary order expires Nov. 13, unless the court chooses to extend it, according to the ruling. It includes an exception allowing border patrol to “move or cut the concertina wire to aid individuals in medical distress.”
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