Tue. Apr 16th, 2024

A federal judge temporarily barred the Biden administration from cutting razor wire placed near the US-Mexico border on Monday, in a win for Texas’ bid to stop the record-setting flow of illegal migrants into the Lone Star State.

Under the temporary restraining order by Del Rio US District Judge Alia Moses, Border Patrol agents can only cut the concertina wire to “provide or obtain emergency medical aid.”

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, 60, brought the lawsuit last week in a bid to stop the federal government from “disassembling, degrading, [or] tampering” with the miles of wire set up by state authorities along the Rio Grande near Eagle Pass.

“The federal government’s outrageous escalation in response to our lawsuit demonstrates Biden’s disturbing contempt for the State of Texas, for the citizens of the United States, and for our country’s entire foundation of the rule of law,” Paxton said in a statement.

Sharp concertina wire seen near the border in Eagle Pass, Texas.Getty Images

“By acting quickly and monitoring their actions closely, we were able to secure a restraining order, and I am confident we will continue to prevail.” 

Texas filed an emergency relief request Oct. 24 in response to multiple instances in which federal agents toppled barriers along the border, according to Paxton’s office.

After filing the lawsuit, “the Biden Administration further escalated the barrier destruction, as agents were filmed using a forklift to smash the fencing against the ground repeatedly,” his office alleged.

Federal agents insisted they had the authority to snip the wire, according to Ken Paxton’s office.REUTERS

The Department of Homeland Security insists its agents “have a responsibility under federal law” to safeguard migrants.

“We do not comment on pending litigation,” a DHS spokesperson told The Post. “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.”  

“We will, of course, comply with the Order issued by the Court this morning.”

DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas is set to testify before a congressional panel on Tuesday.REUTERS
Ken Paxton was recently cleared of an impeachment charge over an alleged bribery scheme.AP

Moses imposed the temporary restraining order until Nov. 13. A preliminary injunction hearing in the matter has been slated for Nov. 7.

The order marks the latest twist in the longstanding feud between Texas and the Biden administration, which has been rankled by Republican Gov. Greg Abbott’s so-called Operation Lone Star initiative of busing migrants to blue states and cities, including New York.

Last month, Paxton was acquitted by the GOP-led Texas Senate, after the Republican-led Texas House impeached him on allegations of taking bribes from a political donor, obstruction of justice, making false statements and more.

President Biden has tapped Vice President Kamala Harris to serve as his border czar.Getty Images

The state AG has made a name for himself by taking up high-profile cases against the Biden administration on red meat conservative issues such as illegal immigration.

During fiscal year 2023, which ended on Sept. 30, the US saw more than 2.4 million encounters at the southern border, according to Customs and Border Protection.

The Biden administration has taken some steps, such as restarting deportation flights to Venezuela to help alleviate the crisis, but GOP critics argue those measures are woefully insufficient.

Recently, the White House released a $106 billion supplemental request for aid to Ukraine and Israel that included $14 billion for immigration — a key ask from Republicans.

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