Texas sued the Biden administration on Tuesday over federal agents cutting razor wire deployed along the border by Texas authorities to deter illegal immigration.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s office filed the lawsuit in a federal court in Del Rio, Texas, against the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, and others. Paxton accused federal agents of illegally destroying state property and obstructing the state’s border security efforts.
“Texas has the sovereign right to construct border barriers to prevent the entry of illegal aliens,” Paxton said in a statement. “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.”
Texas has grappled with federal officials undermining state immigration efforts since Governor Greg Abbott flooded resources to the Texas border as part of his Operation Lone Star. In August 2022, Border Patrol officers unlocked a gate on the border secured by Texas National Guard troops to process a group of illegal immigrants.
Paxton argued in his lawsuit that the federal interventions in Texas’ border security have become more common in recent weeks.
“Since September 20, 2023, federal agents have developed and implemented a policy, pattern, or practice of destroying Texas’s concertina wire to encourage and assist thousands of aliens to illegally cross the Rio Grande and enter Texas,” the lawsuit says. “Federal agents not only cut Texas’s concertina wire, but also attach ropes or cables from the back of pickup trucks to ease aliens’ ability to illegally climb up the riverbank into Texas. And they regularly cut new openings in the wire fence, sometimes immediately after Texas officers have placed new wire to plug up gaps in fencing barriers.”
“By cutting Texas’s concertina wire, the federal government has not only illegally destroyed property owned by the State of Texas; it has also disrupted the State’s border security efforts, leaving gaps in Texas’s border barriers and damaging Texas’s ability to effectively deter illegal entry into its territory,” the filing says.
The Department of Homeland Security released immigration data for fiscal year 2023 over the weekend showing another historic year of illegal immigration. Apprehensions of illegal immigrants hit roughly 2.06 million from last October to the end of September. It is the second straight year that illegal immigration numbers topped the record prior to President Joe Biden taking office set in 1986.