On Monday, the Supreme Court voted to allow Border Patrol agents to remove razor wire Texas installed on the U.S.-Mexico border as part of an effort by the state to prevent illegal border crossings. The narrowly-divided High Court voted 5-4 to grant an emergency request filed by the Biden administration, which had argued that Texas was preventing agents from carrying out their duties. The Biden administration said the wire prevented agents from reaching migrants who have already crossed over the border into the U.S. The Court’s order noted that four conservative members of the nine-justice court would have rejected the government’s request – Justice Clarence Thomas, Justice Samuel Alito, Justice Neil Gorsuch and Justice Brett Kavanaugh.
Texas Gov. Gregg Abbott installed the razor wire near the Rio Grande at Eagle Pass as part of an operation to address illegal immigration. Texas later sued after Border Patrol agents cut through some of the razor wire, claiming the agents had trespassed and damaged state property. Abbott’s immigration enforcement plan, dubbed Operation Lone Star, included busing thousands of migrants to Democratic-led cities and arresting migrants on trespassing charges. The state previously placed buoys in the Rio Grande to prevent crossings, and in response the Biden administration sued. A federal judge ruled for the Biden administration, but the New Orleans-based 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals last month reversed that decision, saying agents could not cut or move the wire unless there was a medical emergency. The barrier currently remains in place while litigation continues.
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