A federal judge on Monday granted Texas’ motion to temporarily stop the Biden administration from removing the razor wire at the US-Mexico border, pending a preliminary injunction hearing.
The temporary win for Texas, which states the federal government shall not remove, disassemble, degrade or tamper with the concertina wire, comes with one exception, which allows the wire to be removed in the case of a “medical emergency that mostly likely results in serious bodily injury or death to a person,” according to the order issued by US District Judge Alia Moses.
The lawsuit, filed in the Western District of Texas, marks the latest chapter of the legal saga between the state and the Biden administration over border security during a migration surge that is straining local and federal resources.
The defendants include the Department of Homeland Security; DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, US Customs and Border Protection, CBP’s acting commissioner Troy Miller, US Border Patrol, USBP’s Chief Jason Owens and USBP Del Rio Sector acting chief patrol agent Juan Bernal.
CNN has reached out to the defendants for comment.
A Department of Homeland Security spokesperson told CNN in an email Monday that the Biden administration “will, of course, comply with the Order issued by the Court this morning.”
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton sued the Biden administration last Tuesday, alleging that federal agents were destroying state property by cutting concertina wire in the Eagle Pass, Texas, area with the intention of allowing migrants into the US. On Friday, Paxton notified the court that the federal government was using machinery, like a forklift, to dismantle the border barrier installed by Texas and asked the court to temporarily force the federal government to stop.
“Texas seeks a temporary restraining order for the purpose ‘of preserving the status quo and preventing [the] irreparable harm’ that will occur if Defendants are allowed to continue cutting, destroying, or otherwise damaging Plaintiff’s concertina wire fence,” Texas wrote in the court filing last week.
Last week, a DHS spokesperson said they could not comment on pending litigation, but “generally speaking,” they said, “Border Patrol agents have a responsibility under federal law to take those who have crossed onto U.S. soil without authorization into custody for processing, as well as to act when there are conditions that put our workforce or migrants at risk.”
A preliminary injunction hearing is scheduled for November 7 and the temporary restraining order expires on November 13, unless extended by the court, according to the judge’s order.
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