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Texas sues Biden admin over US-Mexico border wire removal

By Jake Beardslee · October 25, 2023

In brief…

  • Texas AG Ken Paxton sued Biden admin for allegedly cutting border concertina wire
  • Claims wiring destruction undermined Texas border security
  • Lawsuit latest battle between Texas and Biden admin over immigration
  • Paxton asks court to block defendants from damaging Texas property
  • Comes amid apprehension increases at southern border
Texas Attorney General Paxton filed a lawsuit against Biden administration over alleged destruction of concertina wire at U.S.-Mexico border.  U.S. Customs and Border Protection/Wikimedia

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton filed a lawsuit Tuesday against the Biden administration for allegedly cutting concertina wire at the U.S.-Mexico border. Paxton alleges that in late September, federal agents put in place a policy that led to concertina wire being cut down, which according to Paxton compromised Texas’s border security.

The lawsuit, filed in the Western District of Texas, is the latest legal battle between Texas and the Biden administration over border security amidst a migrant surge. “Texas has the sovereign right to construct border barriers to prevent the entry of illegal aliens,” Paxton said. “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.”

The defendants include the Department of Homeland Security, DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, CBP Acting Commissioner Troy Miller, U.S. Border Patrol, Border Patrol Chief Jason Owens, and Border Patrol Del Rio Sector Acting Chief Patrol Agent Juan Bernal.

DHS said they could not comment on pending litigation but that agents have a responsibility to take migrants who crossed illegally into custody and to act when conditions put agents or migrants at risk. However, Texas has also apparently cut through concertina wire, with a July directive to possibly open the wire for medical emergencies.

Paxton is asking the court to block the defendants “from continuing to destroy and damage private property that is not theirs—without statutory authority and in violation of both state and federal law.”

The lawsuit comes amid increased apprehensions at the southern border, though numbers dropped after Title 42 expired in May before ticking back up. Texas’ border security methods have also faced criticism, including a Justice Department lawsuit over floating barriers in the Rio Grande.