Biden administration asks Supreme Court to allow border agents to cut razor wire installed by Texas

A U.S. Border Patrol agent cuts through razor wire to let in a group of asylum seekers who crossed the Rio Grande in Eagle Pass on Sept. 28, 2023. (Reuters/Brian Snyder, Reuters/Brian Snyder)

WASHINGTON – The Biden administration is asking the Supreme Court to allow Border Patrol agents to cut razor wire that Texas installed on the U.S.-Mexico border, while a lawsuit over the wire continues.

The Justice Department filed an emergency appeal Tuesday, asking the justices to put on hold last month's appellate ruling in favor of Texas, which forced federal agents to stop cutting the concertina wire the state has installed along roughly 30 miles (48 kilometers) of the Rio Grande near the border city of Eagle Pass. Large numbers of migrants have crossed there in recent months.

Recommended Videos

The court case pitting Republican-led Texas against Democratic President Joe Biden's administration is part of a broader fight over immigration enforcement. The state also has installed razor wire around El Paso and the Rio Grande Valley, where migrants have crossed in high numbers. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott also has authorized installing floating barriers in the Rio Grande near Eagle Pass and allowed troopers to arrest and jail thousands of migrants on trespassing charges.

In court papers, the administration said the wire impedes Border Patrol agents from reaching migrants as they cross the river and that, in any case, federal immigration law trumps Texas' own efforts to stem the flow of migrants into the country.

Texas officials have argued that federal agents cut the wire to help groups crossing illegally through the river before taking them in for processing.

Recommended Videos