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Appeals court lets Texas leave floating barrier in Rio Grande for now

A federal appeals court Thursday put on hold a judge’s order from earlier this week requiring Texas Gov. Greg Abbott to remove a floating barrier from the Rio Grande River.

In issuing a temporary stay, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit is allowing Abbott, a Republican, to leave in place for now the barrier his state installed to deter illegal migrant crossings.

The order was issued by a three-judge panel consisting of two Democratic appointees and one Republican appointee.

The appeals court action is the latest in an ongoing battle between the Biden administration and the Republican governor over an 1,000-foot barrier near Eagle Pass, Texas.

U.S. District Judge David Ezra on Wednesday ordered for the removal of the barrier by Sept. 15, granting the Justice Department’s request for a preliminary injunction while the case is litigated.

Lawyers for Texas had appealed the ruling to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals.

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