The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals on December 4 temporarily halted a district court’s order allowing US Border Patrol agents to continue cutting through the concertina wire Texas installed along the banks of the Rio Grande, the Texas Tribune reported.
On November 29, US District Judge Alia Moses ruled against Attorney General Ken Paxton’s office which requested that the court order Border Patrol to stop cutting the wire.
In her decision, Moses said the state did not provide enough evidence to establish that the federal government had violated the law. At the same time, Judge Moses slammed the Biden administration, calling its conduct “culpable and duplicitous.”
Texas immediately filed an appeal with the 5th Circuit on November 30, and on December 4, the appeals court issued a stay on Judge Moses’ ruling and gave the federal government until the end of the week to respond.
In a statement responding to the appeals court decision, Attorney General Paxton said he was pleased that the court “recognized” the Biden administration’s “blatant and disturbing efforts” to subvert the state’s efforts to secure its border with Mexico.
Texas initially filed suit against the Biden administration in October, accusing the Border Patrol of illegally destroying state property when agents cut through the wire to “assist” illegals crossing the border.
The Biden administration argued in court documents that the agents cut the wire to provide medical assistance to the illegal migrants. It also maintained that the agents cut wire in areas where the migrants had already crossed the Rio Grande into the United States to apprehend them.
The Texas Military Department has spent $11 million in the past three years to install 70,000 rolls of concertina wire in different areas along the border, particularly in Maverick County, which includes the overwhelmed border region of Eagle Pass, where about 29 miles of wire have been set up.