Texas Gov. Greg Abbott accused President Joe Biden of trying to hamstring his state’s “sovereign interest” in securing its border, days after the Justice Department said it intends to sue Texas over its placement of buoys in the Rio Grande aimed at deterring migrants.
“In a late-night letter sent to me last Thursday, your lawyers at the Department of Justice threatened to sue the State of Texas over the floating marine barriers we have deployed in the Rio Grande River in Eagle Pass,” Abbott, a Republican, wrote to Biden on Monday. “Texas will see you in court, Mr. President.”
Abbott, a Republican, sent his letter just days after the DOJ sent its own letter to the governor. That letter said the DOJ intends to sue Texas unless the state acts to remove the river buoys. The DOJ said the barriers endanger public safety and could obstruct the federal government’s official duties, among other concerns.
The Justice Department, in its letter to Abbott on Friday, said the river buoys also violate the Rivers and Harbors Act and raise humanitarian concerns.
Abbott, however, claimed that the act doesn’t apply to Texas’ actions and said that although he shares the administration’s concern for migrants’ welfare, Biden’s “finger points in the wrong direction.”
“Neither of us wants to see another death in the Rio Grande River,” Abbott wrote. “Yet your open-border policies encourage migrants to risk their lives by crossing illegally through the water, instead of safely and legally at a port of entry. Nobody drowns on a bridge.”