The legal showdown between Texas and the Biden administration's challenge to the state's immigration policies begins Thursday.
The Department of Justice has sued Texas over its use of a floating buoy barrier in the Rio Grande to deter migrants from attempting to illegally cross into the United States. A 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals judgeruled last month to temporarily halt an order from a district court judge that had required the state of Texas to remove controversial buoy barriers.
Lawyers in the appeal argued that "the buoys were deployed under the Governor’s constitutional authority to defend Texas from transnational-criminal-cartel invasion." But the Biden administration has questioned the legality of the makeshift border, claiming it violates the Rivers and Harbors Appropriation Act, an 1899 law that prohibits blocking navigable waters.
The legal fight comes as the influx of migrants in the U.S. is raising tensions to a boiling point, with several lawmakers accusing President Joe Biden of not doing enough to curb the crisis.
New York City Mayor Eric Adams — a Democrat — is among those also angered by the immigration crisis, and has called on the president to close the southern border. More than 120,000 migrants have arrived in New York City in the last year, according to Adams, who has openly discussed the strain the issue is having on workers, organizations and resources.
The Biden administration has largely pinned the blame on Congress for failing to pass immigration reform. However, the president met with New York Gov. Kathy Hochul in September and promised to provide additional federal resources to assist with the problem. He also requested for Congress to approve $600 million for the Shelter and Services Program, which supports non-citizens in the country.
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