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In Texas, a floating barrier program to deter immigrants

In Texas, a floating barrier program to deter immigrants

A lawsuit was filed Saturday against the US state of Texas’ plan to deploy a floating barrier on the Rio Grande to stop illegal immigrants from crossing from Mexico.

The plan, presented Thursday by Greg Abbott, the Republican governor of Texas, plans to install large floating buoys in the river to stop the migrants, nicknamed in Spanish ” Mojada Espaldas (wet back) to try to cross.

“The installation begins today,” the governor announced on his Twitter account Friday, posting photos of trucks carrying large orange floats.

The Rio Grande originates in the Rocky Mountains in Colorado (west), serves as a natural and international border between the United States and Mexico for about 2000 km before flowing through New Mexico and Texas into the Gulf of Mexico (southeast). In Mexico it is called Rio Bravo.

It is governed by treaties between these two countries.

“These buoys will prevent people from approaching the border. The process starts more or less immediately,” the governor announced during his press conference.

Steve McCraw, director of the department in charge of public safety, for his part, noted during the conference that the system is intended to prevent migrants from crossing and drowning and that it will be used at an altitude of about 300 meters. A crossing point called Eagle Pass.

Governor Greg Abbott continues to accuse Democratic President Joe Biden of not taking the necessary steps to stem the flow of immigrants from Mexico, and has announced he will take action himself.

The US federal administration did not immediately react to the announcement, but a local businessman tried to block the move on Saturday.

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Specifically, Jesse Fuentes, owner of Ebis Canoe and Kayak Team, a company that organizes kayak tours, took legal action “because the proposed site for the installation of these floats is where he organizes his activities, and this would undermine its operations.” His lawyer, Carlos Flores, told AFP.

According to him, the governor is not “competent” and requires federal approval for this type of installation.

The governor, for his part, responded on Twitter that the state of Texas “has a constitutional right to protect its borders.”

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