Federal judge temporarily halts razor wire removal at border

Texas filed a lawsuit asserting Border Patrol agents have been removing concertina wire along the border to prevent migrants from crossing the Rio Grande.

By Alexandra Hart & Wells DunbarNovember 3, 2023 11:11 am, ,

A federal judge has issued a temporary order to halt the removal of concertina wire at the Texas-Mexico border.

The wire, deployed by the state of Texas, is intended to deter migrants from crossing the Rio Grande. The decision comes in response to Texas’ recent legal action against the federal government, alleging that Border Patrol agents have been dismantling the wire.

The temporary order, set to expire on Nov. 13, precedes a scheduled hearing for oral arguments next week, which is expected to lead to a more permanent decision in the case.

The deployment of concertina wire, spanning approximately two miles along the Texas-New Mexico border as well, has raised questions and concerns about its effectiveness.

“Gov. Greg Abbott’s stated goal for that was essentially saying that maybe some people are crossing in from New Mexico and then coming over into Texas,” says Texas Tribune managing editor Matthew Watkins. “The New Mexico governor rolled her eyes and criticized Abbott for that – doing something which she kind of described as more for show instead of taking on more serious efforts to, you know, what is, at times a challenging situation at the border.”

For more on this issue and other stories from the week in Texas politics, listen to our interview with Watkins in the audio player above.