By Steve Neavling
A federal judge on Monday issued a temporary restraining order to prevent Border Patrol agents from removing state-owned razor wire strung up along the Rio Grande in Texas to stem illegal immigration.
Judge Alia Moses of the Western District of Texas, however, made an exception for agents cutting through wire for any medical emergency “that most likely results in serious bodily injury or death to a person,” The Dallas Morning News reports.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton filed a lawsuit against the Biden administration last week, arguing agents were illegally destroying state property when they cut through miles of wire.
The restraining order expires on Nov. 13, but can be extended.
Moses scheduled a hearing over Paxton’s request for a temporary injunction for Nov. 7.
A Homeland Security spokesman said the agency will comply with the order.
“Generally speaking, Border Patrol agents have a responsibility under federal law to take those who have crossed onto U.S. soil without authorization into custody for processing, as well as to act when there are conditions that put our workforce or migrants at risk,” the spokesman said in an emailed statement.
In the lawsuit, Paxton claimed agents had seized or cut wire since Sept. 20. Paxton argues agents have no authority to damage or seize state property that is not on federal land.
Federal agencies are opposed to the wire, saying it’s preventing agents from reaching at-risk migrants, including infants and unaccompanied children.
The defendants in lawsuit are the heads of Homeland Security, CBP, and the Border Patrol.