Texas AG Ken Paxton Appeals Judge’s Ruling to Allow Feds to Continue Cutting Razor Wire at Southern Border

Despite her decision, Judge Alia Moses was critical of the federal government’s immigration policy allowing agents to cut the razor wire placed by the state.
Texas AG Ken Paxton Appeals Judge’s Ruling to Allow Feds to Continue Cutting Razor Wire at Southern Border
As seen from an aerial view a U.S. Border Patrol agent supervises as immigrants walk into the United States after crossing the Rio Grande from Mexico in Eagle Pass, Texas, on Sept. 30, 2023. (John Moore/Getty Images)
Jana J. Pruet
12/1/2023
Updated:
12/5/2023
0:00

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has appealed a judge’s decision to continue allowing Border Patrol agents to cut concertina wire intended to stop illegal immigrants from crossing the southern border.

“I am disappointed that the federal government’s blatant and disturbing efforts to subvert law and order at our State’s border with Mexico will be allowed to continue,” said Attorney General Paxton in a statement on Thursday. “[President Joe] Biden’s doctrine of open borders at any cost threatens the safety of our citizens, and we will continue to fight it every step of the way.”
On Wednesday, U.S. District Judge Alia Moses of Del Rio, Texas, denied a preliminary injunction that would prevent agents from cutting the razor wire to allow migrants to cross illegally into the country. In her 34-page decision, the judge wrote that the state had failed to provide sufficient evidence supporting its request.
Mr. Paxton filed the appeal on Thursday, Nov. 30.

Initially, Judge Moses, who was appointed by former President George W. Bush in 2002, granted an emergency temporary restraining order blocking the feds from such action except in the case of emergencies.

The emergency order was granted three days after Mr. Paxton filed a lawsuit against the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, Border Patrol, and other federal agencies. The lawsuit was prompted, at least in part, by a video that showed border patrol agents cutting the razor wire and assisting large groups of migrants crossing into Texas.
“Texas has the sovereign right to construct border barriers to prevent the entry of illegal aliens,” Mr. Paxton said in a statement on Oct. 24 announcing the lawsuit. “Americans across the country were horrified to watch Biden’s open-border policy in action: agents were physically cutting wires and assisting the aliens’ entry into our state.

“This is illegal. It puts our country and our citizens at risk,” he continued. “The courts must put a stop to it, or Biden’s free-for-all will make this crushing immigration crisis even worse.”

Despite her decision, the judge was critical of the federal government’s immigration policy of allowing agents to cut the razor wire Texas placed along the Rio Grande River.

“The immigration system at the heart of it all, dysfunctional and flawed as it is, would work properly if implemented,” wrote Judge Moses. “Instead, the status quo is a harmful mixture of political rancor, ego, and economic and geopolitical realities that serves no one.

“So destructive is its nature that the nation cannot help but be transfixed by, but simultaneously unable to correct the present condition. What follows here is but another chapter in this unfolding tragedy,” she continued. “The law may be on the side of the Defendants and compel a resolution in their favor today, but it does not excuse their culpable and duplicitous conduct.”

She noted that Border Patrol agent encounters with migrants entering the country illegally have “swelled from a comparatively paltry 458,000 in 2020 to 1.7 million in 2021 and 2.4 million in 2022,” adding that “Border Patrol is on track to meet or exceed those numbers in 2023.”

In 2021, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott launched Operation Lone Star, a multi-agency effort of the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) and the Texas National Guard to secure the southern border.

Since its inception, Operation Lone Star has apprehended more than 485,700 illegal immigrants.  It has also made more than 36,800 criminal arrests, with over 33,400 felony charges reported, the Texas Department of Public Safety stated on X, formerly known as Twitter, on Nov. 29.

During the first two years of the initiative, the Republican governor spent more than $4.4 billion trying to stop illegal immigration.

Texas has placed more than 70,000 rolls of concertina wire along portions of the Texas-Mexico border over the past three years at a cost of about $11 million, the Texas Tribune reported.

Mr. Abbott has bused more than 69,000 migrants to sanctuary cities across the country, including Washington, D.C., New York City, Chicago, Philadelphia, Denver, and Los Angeles.

The governor has pledged to continue bussing migrants until President Biden “secures the border,” according to a recent social media post on X.

The state is also constructing a steel border wall along sections of the 1,200-mile southern border.

Mr. Abbott shared his reaction to the judge’s decision in a separate post on X.

“A federal court held that the Biden Admin. wrongfully destroyed state property by cutting razor wire barriers that Texas built on the border. The Court chastised the Biden Admin. for its utter failure to ‘deter, prevent, and halt unlawful entry into the United States.’

“The Court also noted that ’the wire serves as a deterrent—an effective one at that,'” he continued. “Despite the Court’s detailing Biden’s dereliction of duty, the Court denied (for now) an injunction in favor of Texas because of a procedural issue. I support an immediate appeal by Attorney General Paxton to ensure that Biden is swiftly held accountable,” Mr. Abbott wrote on Thursday.

Jana is an award-winning investigative journalist. She covers news in Texas with a focus on politics, energy, and crime. Jana has reported for many media outlets over the years, including Reuters, The Dallas Morning News, and TheBlaze, among others. She has a journalism degree from Southern Methodist University. Send your story ideas to: [email protected]