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AUSTIN (KXAN) — Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton appealed a federal judge’s Wednesday decision that allows federal border agents to continue cutting razor wire fencing along the Texas-Mexico border, according to a release from Paxton’s office.
In October, Paxton filed a lawsuit and a motion for a preliminary injunction against the Biden Administration’s Department of Homeland Security (DHS), DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and other agencies and officials who Paxton’s office said “destroyed” Texas’ wire fence and other border barriers.
Texas National Guard troops have placed the wire fencing along the border to deter migrants from crossing. In some cases, the barrier is located right along the banks of the Rio Grande. In some cases, federal agents have cut through the wire to reach migrants entangled in the barrier, or to rescue people in danger in the river.
A federal judge granted a temporary restraining order in late October. It only allowed cutting the barrier in the case of medical emergencies. The order was extended twice, and set to expire on Nov. 29. Texas asked the court to extend the order.
Despite denying Texas’s motion, the court found no merit in the Biden Administration’s arguments that Texas’s wire fence interferes with Border Patrol’s ability to perform its duties or to address medical emergencies. The court found “[t]he evidence presented amply demonstrates the utter failure of the Defendants to deter, prevent, and halt unlawful entry into the United States. The [Biden Administration] cannot claim the statutory duties they are so obviously derelict in enforcing as excuses to puncture [Texas’] attempts to shore up the [Administration’s] failing system. Nor may they seek judicial blessing of practices that both directly contravene those same statutory obligations and require the destruction of [Texas’s] property. Any justifications resting on the [Biden Administration’s] illusory and life-threatening ‘inspection’ and ‘apprehension’ practices, or lack thereof, fail.”
Office of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton