The leader of the Lone Star state has defended the use of the buoys, pointing out that they would be unnecessary if the federal government had done its job to secure the border in the first place.
In a statement, the DOJ alleged that Texas had constructed the barriers "without the federal authorization that is legally required under the Rivers and Harbors Act," and demanded that the state remove them.
"This floating barrier poses threats to navigation and public safety and presents humanitarian concerns," Associate Attorney General Vanita Gupta said. "Additionally, the presence of the floating barrier has prompted diplomatic protests by Mexico and risks damaging US foreign policy."
The lawsuit did not come out of the blue. Last week, the Biden administration said in no uncertain terms that it would be taking legal action against the state.
"Mr. President, Texas will see you in court," Abbott responded.
In a letter to Biden, the governor slammed the federal government for failing to protect the southern border.
"If you truly care about human life, you must begin enforcing federal immigration laws," he said. "To end the risk that migrants will be harmed crossing the border illegally, you must enforce the laws of the United States that prohibit illegal immigration between ports of entry."
Abbott vowed to "fully utilize its constitutional authority to deal with the crisis," and explained that what he had done was constitutional.
During Monday's White House press briefing, Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre reiterated the administration's position that Abbott had acted illegally, and accused the governor of using "cruel" and "unjust" tactics. She suggested that the border had been an issue "for decades."
This is a breaking story and will be updated.
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