A new report from the government came out on Tuesday(15 August 2023). It says that almost 80% of the controversial barrier in the Rio Grande River, put up by Texas officials to stop migrants, is actually on the Mexican side of the U.S.-Mexico border. This news came out because the Biden administration talked about it in a legal paper for their lawsuit against the barrier.
Texas made this barrier in July because the Governor, Greg Abbott, wanted to stop immigrants and go against President Biden’s border plans. The barrier in the river has gotten a lot of attention from around the world. Mexico’s government doesn’t like it at all. The barrier was built near Eagle Pass, a town on the Texas border.
Some people worry that the barrier might make migrants go to the deeper parts of the river, where they might drown. These concerns were raised by people who support migrants, some lawmakers from the Democratic party, and even a medic from Texas.
You can see a tweet that has all the info about 80% of Texas’ floating border barrier, which is basically in Mexico:
Nearly 80% of Texas’ floating border barrier is technically in Mexico, survey finds. https://t.co/W8B7dCM3Qq
— 𝕸𝖆𝖗𝖎𝖊 🇲🇽🇺🇸⚔️ 🌊🐺♒💃💙🌻 (@LMarieVResists) August 16, 2023
Two bodies were pulled from the Rio Grande by Mexican authorities earlier this month, including one that was discovered floating next to the barrier, although the causes of the deaths are still being looked into. In announcing the finding of the remains, Mexican officials criticized the barrier.
The Texas Department of Public Safety’s Steve McCraw, however, stated that early reports suggested the first individual discovered deceased had “drowned upstream from the marine barrier and floated into the buoys.”
“Preliminary information suggests this individual drowned upstream from the marine barrier and floated into the buoys,” Texas DPS Director Steve McCraw said in a statement to the Washington Examiner. “There are personnel posted at the marine barrier at all…
— Lorrie Ann 🇺🇲🇺🇲🇺🇸 (@LorrieAnn25) August 8, 2023
Texas has said that the accusations of breaking the law and treaties when they set up the floating barriers without permission from the Biden administration or Mexico are not true. Governor Abbott and other Texas officials are saying that the barriers are important to stop people from entering the U.S. illegally.
A group of people from the United States and Mexico, who are part of an organization called the International Boundary and Water Commission, did a study. They looked at the borders between the two countries. They shared their findings with the court in Austin on Tuesday.
In a deal made in 1970 between the United States and Mexico, the border in Texas is right in the middle of the Rio Grande River. The study showed that most of the barrier, about 79%, is on the Mexican side, which is about 787 feet out of 995 feet. The rest, about 208 feet, is on the U.S. side.
People from Mexico and the United States agreed with these results, and this information is in the court paper dated Tuesday.
The Biden administration is taking Texas to court because they believe Texas didn’t follow a rule about putting things in U.S. waterways that can be used for travel. The rule has been there for a long time. The lawsuit might get more evidence to support its case from this new survey.
The administration is asking the court to make Texas take down the buoys and not put up more like them in the future. The court where this is happening is in Austin. Officials from the United States and Mexico, according to the Justice Department, “are in discussions on how to proceed with respect to the portion of the floating barrier that is located within the territory of Mexico.”
A judge named David Alan Ezra will listen to the case from the Biden administration next week on August 22. Since Texas doesn’t make decisions about national borders and international rules, the survey released on Tuesday will probably make Mexico even more against the buoys in the river.
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The barriers Texas made in the river have caused more people to criticize their Operation Lone Star plan for border security. Texas took many migrants on buses to big cities led by the Democratic party. They also told state troopers to stop migrants from possibly entering the state without permission. The Texas National Guard used sharp wire and other ways to keep migrants away.
Governor Abbott and other Texas leaders say that the Biden administration hasn’t done enough to stop people from crossing the border without permission. In June, the number of illegal crossings on the southern border was the lowest in two years.
The Biden administration thinks this happened because of some rules about seeking asylum and programs that let people come to the U.S. legally. But now, even though it’s very hot in the southern U.S., the number of crossings has gone up again, as shown by early data from Border Patrol.