The Biden administration on Tuesday requested that the Supreme Court intervene in a legal dispute with Texas after an appeals court blocked the administration from cutting razor wire set up by the state at the southern border to stop illegal immigrants.
The DOJ filed an application with the Supreme Court after the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals blocked the administration last month from “damaging, destroying, or otherwise interfering with Texas’s [concertina wire] fence in the vicinity of Eagle Pass, Texas” unless it is for a medical emergency.
Texas had sued the administration in October over the destruction of parts of more than 29 miles of wire it had set up to stop illegal crossings. The state accused the government of illegally destroying property owned by the state, but also harming efforts to secure the border.
“By cutting Texas’s concertina wire, the federal government has not only illegally destroyed property owned by the State of Texas; it has also disrupted the State’s border security efforts, leaving gaps in Texas’s border barriers and damaging Texas’s ability to effectively deter illegal entry into its territory,” Texas said.
The federal government has argued that once migrants are on U.S. soil, Border Patrol agents must apprehend them, and has claimed the wire “inhibits Border Patrol’s ability to patrol the border.”
A DHS spokesperson told Fox in October that it does not comment on pending litigation, but “generally speaking, 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 federal district court judge had denied the preliminary injunction request from the state, but the Fifth Circuit granted it. On Tuesday, the DOJ asking the Supreme Court for temporary relief so that it can remove razor fence at the federal government’s discretion.
“The court of appeals’ contrary ruling inverts the Supremacy Clause by requiring federal law to yield to Texas law,” the application to the Court argues. “If accepted, the court’s rationale would leave the United States at the mercy of States that could seek to force the federal government to conform the implementation of federal immigration law to varying state-law regimes.”
It marks the latest legal battle between the DOJ and Texas over the border crisis. A lawsuit is ongoing between the two sides over Texas’ construction of a buoy barrier in the Rio Grande River to stop illegal crossings. An appeals court recently ruled that Texas must removed 1,000 feet of that barrier.
Last week the DOJ also threatened to sue the state over a recently-signed immigration law which allows state and local law enforcement to arrest illegal immigrants.
The DOJ claimed the law is unconstitutional and “will disrupt the federal government’s operations.”
The letter says that the DOJ intends to bring a lawsuit “to enforce the supremacy of federal law and to enjoin the operation of SB 4” unless Texas confirms by Jan. 3 that it is stopping enforcement of the legislation.
In a statement to Fox News Digital, Abbott’s office said Texas was prepared to go to the nation’s highest court in defense of that legislation.
“Texas is prepared to take this fight all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court to protect Texans and Americans from President Biden’s open border policies,” spokesperson Renae Eze said. “President Biden’s deliberate and dangerous inaction at our southern border has left Texas to fend for itself. Governor Abbott signed Senate Bill 4 into law last week to help stop the tidal wave of illegal entry into Texas as the President refuses to enforce federal immigration laws.”
Meanwhile, Fox News reported this week that migrant numbers at the southern border exceeded 300,000 in December, marking a new all-time record for encounters.
Latest Political News on Fox News