A federal judge ordered the Biden administration on Monday to temporarily cease cutting the razor wire Texas officials installed along the Rio Grande River to stop illegal immigrants from entering the country.
U.S. Western District of Texas Judge Alia Moses issued the temporary restraining order against the Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Customs Border Patrol to prohibit authorities from “disassembling, degrading, tampering” with Texas’s barrier at the border with Mexico.
“The Court shall grant the temporary relief requested, with one important exception for any medical emergency that mostly likely results in serious bodily injury or death to a person, absent any boats or other life-saving apparatus available to avoid such medical emergencies prior to reaching the concertina wire barrier,” the judge reportedly wrote in the 11-page court filing.
Moses, appointed by President George W. Bush, ruled the temporary order would remain in effect pending the outcome of a November 7 hearing in Del Rio requested by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton.
Paxton sued the Biden administration last week to block federal agents from cutting, destroying, damaging, or otherwise interfering with the state’s concertina wire fence set up near Eagle Pass.
“Texas has the sovereign right to construct border barriers to prevent the entry of illegal aliens,” Paxton said in a news release on October 24. “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. The courts must put a stop to it, or Biden’s free-for-all will make this crushing immigration crisis even worse.”
Paxton told the court on Friday that the federal government began dismantling the border razor fence using forklifts and other machinery.
A spokesperson from the DHS reportedly said last week that it could not comment on pending litigation.
“Border Patrol agents have a responsibility under federal law to take those who have crossed onto U.S. soil without authorization into custody for processing, as well as to act when there are conditions that put our workforce or migrants at risk.”
The temporary restraining order expires on November 13 unless extended by the court.
Texas Republican Gov. Greg Abbott called the judges ruling “another win” for the state’s “historic border mission.”
“Biden created this crisis & has tried to block us at every turn,” he wrote Monday on social media. “Attorney General Paxton & I are pushing back.”
The news comes after border patrol officials recently reported 269,735 illegal alien encounters at the U.S. southern border in September — the highest single-month total ever recorded.
September’s numbers close out Fiscal Year 2023 with a total of 2,475,669 illegal alien encounters — the highest level recorded in U.S. history.
The illegal immigration crisis continues to surge every year since President Joe Biden took office. In Fiscal Year 2022, authorities recorded 2,378,944 encounters, while Fiscal Year 2021 had 1,734,686 encounters.
The three fiscal years under Biden have seen a staggering 6,589,299 illegal alien encounters on the southern border.
However, those numbers do not include “known gotaways,” which refers to illegal aliens who are observed illegally entering the U.S. and are not apprehended.
Ryan Saavedra contributed to this report.