Bienvenidos! Supremes Roberts, Barrett Join Libs In Allowing Biden To Remove Texas Border Wire

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by Tyler Durden
Monday, Jan 22, 2024 - 10:40 PM

Authored by Jack Phillips via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),

The Supreme Court voted 5–4 vote to allow U.S. Border Patrol agents to remove razor wire that was set up along the U.S.–Mexico border by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott while a legal challenge plays out.

Justices of the U.S. Supreme Court pose for their official photo at the Supreme Court in Washington on Oct. 7, 2022. (Front L–R) Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Clarence Thomas, Chief Justice John Roberts, Justices Samuel Alito and Justice Elena Kagan. (Back L–R) Justices Amy Coney Barrett, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, and Ketanji Brown Jackson. (Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images)

In a brief order, the high court vacated a ruling issued in mid-December by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, Neil Gorsuch, and Brett Kavanaugh voted to deny the application to vacate that lower court injunction, which would have prevented Border Patrol agents from removing the barrier.

Chief Justice John Roberts as well as Justices Amy Coney Barrett, Ketanji Brown Jackson, Elena Kagan, and Sonia Sotomayor sided with the Biden administration. No one provided an explanation for their vote.

The order represents a win for President Joe Biden’s administration, which has struggled to curb illegal immigration into the United States since he took office in 2021, amid an ongoing battle with Mr. Abbott, a Republican, over the border.  The administration had filed an emergency request to the Supreme Court and argued that Texas was blocking federal agents from carrying out their duties.

In arguments to the high court, Biden administration lawyers claimed that the barrier prevented agents from reaching illegal immigrants who already entered the United States. Lawyers for the state of Texas, however, have said that Washington has not been able to secure the border as Mr. Abbott’s administration set up razor wire fencing under the Operation Lone Star plan.

They argued that the razor wire blocks agents from gaining access to “the very border they are charged with patrolling and the individuals they are charged with apprehending and inspecting.”

Like other law-enforcement officers, Border Patrol agents operating under difficult circumstances at the border must make context-dependent, sometimes split-second decisions about how to enforce federal immigration laws while maintaining public safety,” Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogar wrote to the Supreme Court. “But the injunction prohibits agents from passing through or moving physical obstacles erected by the State that prevent access to the very border they are charged with patrolling and the individuals they are charged with apprehending and inspecting.”

In the application, she also rejected the idea that federal agents have done anything illegal or improper.

“Border Patrol agents’ exercise of discretion regarding the means of enabling the apprehension, inspection and processing of noncitizens in no way suggests that they cut wire for impermissible purposes,” the solicitor general wrote.

In court papers, the administration also said that, in any case, federal immigration law trumps Texas’s efforts to stem the flow of migrants into the country.

That was submitted after the Fifth U.S. Court of Appeals sided with Texas several weeks ago, saying that “the public interest supports clear protections for property rights from government intrusion and control.”

Earlier this year, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, a Republican, filed a lawsuit against the Biden administration and multiple federal agencies and officials for destroying the razor wire. He and other state officials have argued that federal agents cut the wire to help groups crossing illegally through the river before taking them in for processing.

Illegal immigrants walk toward a U.S. Border Patrol checkpoint after crossing the U.S.-Mexico border in Eagle Pass, Texas, on Sept. 28, 2023. (John Moore/Getty Images)

“Federal agents have developed and implemented a practice of destroying Texas’s concertina wire to encourage, induce, and assist thousands of aliens to illegally cross the Rio Grande and enter Texas,” he said in a release in October. “Federal agents in some cases attempted to ease aliens’ ability to illegally climb up the riverbank into Texas by attaching ropes or cables to the back of pickup trucks. Federal agents regularly cut new openings in the wire fence, sometimes immediately after Texas officers have placed new wire to plug gaps in fencing barriers.”

Mr. Abbott also has authorized installing floating barriers in the Rio Grande near Eagle Pass and allowed troopers to arrest and jail thousands of migrants on trespassing charges. The administration also is challenging those actions in federal court. A federal appeals court last month forced federal agents to stop cutting the concertina wire. Large numbers of migrants have crossed at Eagle Pass in recent months.

In a separate case, the U.S. Fifth Court of Appeals in December ordered Texas to do away with a 1,000-foot-long buoy barrier in the Rio Grande, also designed to block illegal immigration. The court sided with the Biden administration, which argued that the barrier makes the Rio Grande difficult to navigate.

This month, Texas denied entry to Border Patrol agents around Shelby Park in Eagle Pass after Mr. Abbott said that the state won’t allow agents “on that property anymore,” widening a dispute with the Biden administration.

“We said, ‘We’ve had it. We’re not going to let this happen anymore,’” the governor said earlier this month, referring to the dispute.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.