Texas Republican Gov. Greg Abbott came out swinging for the fences against accusations being made by the government of Mexico that is trying to pin deaths of illegal migrants this week to the buoy barrier that was installed by the Lone Star State in the Rio Grande. No one is forcing individuals to try and enter the country illegally. When a person breaks our immigration laws, they are taking their lives into their own hands. It’s a risk. Always was, always will be, regardless of whether those buoys are there or not.
“Two bodies, likely of migrants attempting to illegally cross the U.S.-Mexico border, were found Wednesday, one of which was recovered near buoys in the river that are a part of Abbott’s newly installed border barrier. The Mexican government was the first to inform the public about the incident and linked the deaths to the buoys, after which Abbott’s office rejected the explanation,” the Daily Wire said.
“The Mexican government is flat-out wrong,” Abbott’s spokesman Andrew Mahaleris, went on to explain according to a report from the Washington Examiner. “To be clear, preliminary information points to the drowning occurring before the body was even near the barriers. The Texas Department of Public Safety previously reported to Border Patrol the dead body floating upstream from the barriers in the Rio Grande.”
The Mexican Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated that it was notified by officials with the Texas Department of Public Safety concerning a “lifeless body caught in southern part of the buoys.” Chris Olivarez, a lieutenant with the DPS, stated that the river moved the body down stream where it was entangled in the buoy, noting the structure did not cause the individual’s demise. According to Olivarez, the 1,000 foot stretch of buoys is placed close to a shallow area where it’s easy to get across the river by walking.
“The water is between knee and waist level,” Olivarez stated concerning the barrier. “There’s no way the body would have drowned there. … There’s nothing in the buoy — no objects, no sharp objects, no wire, no hook.”
Olivarez then stated that the government of Mexico acknowledged the second body that was recovered was found “miles upstream from the marine barriers.” However, Mexico did make the claim that having a barrier in the river was a violation of the nation’s sovereignty.
“We express our concern about the impact on the human rights and personal safety of immigrants that these state policies will have, which go in the opposite direction to the close collaboration between our country and the federal government of the United States,” the Ministry of Foreign Affairs remarked in a statement about the buoys.
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According to the Daily Wire’s report, “The U.S. government has also targeted Abbott for installing the buoys, filing a lawsuit against Texas last month. The Department of Justice claims that it was unlawful for Texas to put up the barriers and said there were humanitarian concerns.”
“The floating barrier poses a risk to navigation, as well as public safety, in the Rio Grande River, and it presents humanitarian concerns,” a warning letter from the department informed the state.
The lawsuit filed by the Justice Department attempts to make the case that Texas is in violation of the Rivers and Harbors Appropriation Act of 1899, which forbids the “creation of any obstruction not affirmatively authorized by Congress, to the navigable capacity of any of the waters of the United States.”
Abbott’s office responded by saying that migrants drowning is something that occurs all too often, mostly due to the horrific, essentially non-existent border policies of the current administration.
“If President Biden and [Mexican] President Lopez Obrador truly cared about human life, they would do their jobs and secure the border,” Mahaleris commented.