Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) sent a letter to the Biden administration Monday declaring his plans to continue using a floating wall along the state’s southern border, even after the Justice Department warned him last week that it plans to sue him for deploying the barricade.
“Texas will see you in court, Mr. President,” the governor wrote, saying it’s within his constitutional rights to respond to the “unprecedented crisis of illegal immigration” that he says is caused by President Joe Biden’s border policies.
“The fact is, if you would just enforce the immigration laws Congress already has on the books, America would not be suffering from your record-breaking level of illegal immigration,” Abbott continued, defending the miles of buoy barricades he oversaw going up in the Rio Grande earlier this month.
While U.S. border officials have been stopping a record high number of migrants in recent years, there’s been a lull in crossings for months. Experts say that’s likely because potential migrants are waiting to see what happens with U.S. border policy, and because more migrants are taking advantage of new legal pathways for seeking asylum from violence, political instability and corruption in their home countries.
In his letter, Abbott said his floating barricade is essential to protecting both migrants and U.S. citizens.
“If you truly care about human life, you must begin enforcing federal immigration laws,” he said. “By doing so, you can help me stop migrants from wagering their lives in the waters of the Rio Grande River. You can also help me save Texans, and indeed all Americans, from deadly drugs like fentanyl, cartel violence, and the horrors of human trafficking.”
In reality, recent data shows nearly 90% of convicted fentanyl traffickers were U.S. citizens, and just 0.02% of migrants arrested for illegal crossings had any fentanyl on them.
Abbott’s letter is a response to a notice the DOJ sent him last week disclosing that it plans to sue Texas for the deployment of an “unlawful construction of a floating barrier in the Rio Grande River” that may impede on the federal government’s duties. The department cited the Rivers and Harbors Act.