At the US-Mexico Border
Members of the Texas Army National Guard extend razor wire to inhibit migrants from crossing, as seen from Ciudad Juárez. Reuters

The Supreme Court allowed Border Patrol to cut razor wire installed by Texas along an area of the southern border, The Associated Press reported on Monday.

The divided 5-4 decision granted an emergency appeal by the Biden administration, allowing federal authorities to cut the razor wire while a lawsuit over the issue continues.

The razor wire dispute is one of many between the state and the federal government over immigration, including the blockage of an area of the border and the passing of a law that would allow Texas officials to arrest and deport migrants.

In regards to the first one, Texas said last week it will refuse to comply with a cease-and-desist letter from the Biden administration aimed at stopping the state from blocking access to Shelby Park, a hotspot of immigration in Eagle Pass.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton sent a letter to the administration saying that the "facts and law side with Texas" in its decision and that "the State will continue utilizing its constitutional authority to defend her territory, and I will continue defending those lawful efforts in court."

The government, which has labeled Texas' actions as "clearly unconstitutional," had already warned it would refer the matter to the Department of Justice if the state didn't comply with the cease-and-desist letter sent by the Department of Homeland Security.

Shelby Park is used by Border Patrol agents to inspect and hold migrants and, according to DHS' top lawyer Jonathan Meyer, National Guard forces prevented federal operations to apprehend migrants and rescue those who might be in distress.

The letter cited the deaths of a woman and two children on Friday night as they attempted to cross the Río Grande in that area. Border Patrol authorities said they were made aware of a situation of distress but were prevented from responding by Texas national guard troops under the direction of Texas Governor Greg Abbott.

As for the aforementioned state law, known as SB4, it makes it a misdemeanor to illegally cross the border and a second-degree felony to do so for a second time. Punishments for this latter case range between 180 days in jail to 20 years in prison. The law also allows judges to order that undocumented people "return to the foreign nation from which they entered."

Texas Governor Greg Abbott
Republican Texas Governor Greg Abbott speaks in Conroe. Photo by: Reuters/Go Nakamura

Texas governor Greg Abbott, on his end, is upping the ante with new, harsher remarks on immigration enforcement. In an interview with Dana Loesch, former spokesperson for the National Riffle Association (NRA), Abbott lamented that Texas authorities cannot shoot migrants who cross the border illegally because the federal government could charge them with murder.

"The only thing that we're not doing is we're not shooting people who come across the border because of course, the Biden administration would charge us with murder," Abbott said.

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