The US Division of Justice (DOJ) Setting and Pure Sources Division sent a letter to Texas Governor Greg Abbott and Texas Interim Legal professional Basic Angela Colmenero on Thursday over the legality of Texas deploying floating obstacles within the Rio Grande. The letter cites a number of violations of federal regulation and raises different issues over the obstacles.
The letter states that the obstacles “violate federal regulation, increase humanitarian issues, current severe dangers to public security and the setting, and will intervene with the federal authorities’s potential to hold out its official duties.” Particularly, the letter cites 33 U.S.C. § 403, which prohibits any development on US waters “not affirmatively approved by Congress.” Moreover, the letter says that Texas doesn’t have a military allow that will enable it to assemble the obstacles, in violation of 33 C.F.R. §322(a). Lastly, the letter accuses the obstacles of violating the Rivers and Harbors Act, which additionally offers with acquiring military permits to assemble in navigable US waters. The DOJ wrote the letter pursuant to Justice Manual 1-10.100, which requires the DOJ to present well timed discover to state officers earlier than commencing litigation.
In response to the letter, Abbott stated:
Texas has the sovereign authority to defend our border, underneath the U.S. Structure and the Texas Structure. Now we have despatched the Biden Administration quite a few letters detailing our authority, together with the one I hand-delivered to President Biden earlier this 12 months. The tragic humanitarian disaster on the border was created due to Biden’s refusal to safe the border. His open border insurance policies encourage migrants to danger their lives crossing illegally by the Rio Grande, as a substitute of safely and legally over a bridge.
The obstacles are a part of Operation Lone Star. Abbott launched the operation in 2021 to secure the Texas-Mexico border. The hassle entails the Texas Division of Public Security and the Texas Nationwide Guard.
This isn’t the primary controversy regarding the obstacles. Earlier this month, Mexico’s Ministry of International Relations sent a diplomatic note to the US authorities expressing its issues concerning the deployment of the obstacles.