The U.S. Supreme Court ruled on Monday that federal border patrol agents can, for now, cut through the razor wire that Texas has installed along the border with Mexico. The decision adds to the tension between Texas and the federal government.
The court voted 5-4 to allow Border Patrol agents to cut or remove razor wire placed along the Texas border with Mexico, reaffirming that the federal government, not the states, has the authority to enforce border security. The decision overturned an earlier injunction that prevented federal agents from cutting the wire.
The razor wire was installed in an attempt to curb illegal immigration across the border. Some migrants have been injured by the wire, and since its installation, the Justice Department has said that the measure prevents the U.S. government from patrolling the border and assisting migrants who need help.
“The absence of razor wire and other deterrence strategies encourages migrants to make unsafe and illegal crossings between ports of entry, while making the job of Texas National Guard soldiers and DPS troopers more dangerous and difficult,” Andrew Mahaleris, a spokesperson for Abbott, said. “This case is ongoing, and Governor Abbott will continue fighting to defend Texas’ property and its constitutional authority to secure the border.”
Since Governor Greg Abbott launched Operation Lone Star, tensions between Texas and the federal government have increased.
Last October, the state sued the federal government for destroying state property after federal agents cut some of the wire installed along the border. Border Patrol agents have to cut through parts of the barrier to bring aid to injured migrants.
“The Supreme Court’s temporary order allows Biden to continue his illegal effort to aid the foreign invasion of America,” Attorney General Ken Paxton said. “The destruction of Texas’ border barriers will not help enforce the law or keep American citizens safe. This fight is not over, and I look forward to defending our state’s sovereignty.”
Abbott also made it clear the fight was not over.
“I will continue to defend Texas’ constitutional authority to secure the border and prevent the Biden Admin from destroying our property,” Abbott said in an X/Twitter post.
In the Supreme Court, Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Amy Coney Barrett, Ketanji Brown Jackson, Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor sided with the federal government. Justices Samuel Alito, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and Clarence Thomas voted with Texas.