DOJ asks Texas federal court to block construction of new floating barriers at border

The fight goes on over the floating barriers in the Rio Grande along the Texas Mexico border. 

Tuesday, the Justice Department asked a Texas federal court to block the construction of any new floating barriers.

Governor Abbott says the barriers are part of the state's effort to curb illegal immigration across the southern border. 

Political analyst Ed Espinoza and Matt Mackowiak, chair of the Travis County Republican Party, joined FOX 7 Austin's Mike Warren to discuss.


MIKE WARREN: Ed Espinoza, why is the DOJ going after Texas when state leaders say they are just protecting the Texas border? 

ED ESPINOZA: Well, it's a good question, Mike, and it's hard to see how this is protecting the border when this is really a political stunt, because the floating buoys that they're talking about here are a thousand feet across a border that is more than a thousand miles. And this is a border that is already stacked with National Guard troops from the Operation Lone Star Program. And so you've got these floating beaches here that are really only over a thousand feet and are just lined with razor wire, which we've already seen a couple of deaths. This causes some issues of humanitarian, some humanitarian issues. It also crosses a line of federal jurisdiction. But look, the important thing here is that this is a stunt. It's not about border security when it's only 1000 feet, and you've got thousands of troops there already. And it's a stunt that has killed people. 

MIKE WARREN: Matt Mackowiak, is it a stunt? 

MATT MACKOWIAK: No, it's an effective it's effective where it is. And I think the state would love to have more of it in the portion of the river that the state has access to between the on the Texas-Mexico border. I guess I just don't understand why any Democrat would oppose something that would repel illegal immigrants from entering the country illegally. We all support legal immigration. Anyone that wants to make a lawful asylum claim can do so at a port of entry or at a U.S. embassy. But if they enter illegally, and then they try to claim asylum claim, that's that's a that's a process that can't work because not everyone will be able to be processed. We don't know who's coming in. We can't keep control. We've already seen significant successes from Operation Lone Star, whether it be fentanyl seized, whether it be terrorists prevented from entering the country, violent criminals. People have been deported previously. So, you know, this is a necessary step. The question is why the feds care so much about Texas securing its own border? 

MIKE WARREN: Well, talking about that, Ed Espinoza. You know, with this hearing taking place today, how do you expect that to go? And these buoys, do you foresee them coming out? 

ED ESPINOZA: I can't predict how this is going to go. I don't know a lot about the judge in this case, but I do know that these are movies that have floated onto the Mexican side of the border and that illegal border crossings at points of entry have dropped significantly since May of this year. So to put these boys in these points, I just don't think it's necessary to have items that inflict human harm and have caused death. Might Matt might say he doesn't understand why Democrats don't agree with securing the border. And I would challenge that. I think Democrats do agree with challenging the border. What I would say is I don't understand why Republicans don't understand the difference between border security and a border state that kills people. And that is what is at stake here. 

MIKE WARREN: What about that, Matt? Are these border implements inhumane? 

MATT MACKOWIAK: They are intended to repel people from crossing the border illegally by swimming across the Rio Grande. The federal government, the Biden administration refuses to allow us to continue building the border wall on the southern border. Look, I mean, it's hard to say Democrats seriously about border security when they oppose every single possible solution. They oppose the border wall. They oppose these boogies. They oppose the use of razor wire. They oppose the green New Mexico policy that was very successful. That was negotiated between the U.S. government and the Mexican government during the Trump years. What do they support? Their only real idea is comprehensive immigration reform, which does nothing to actually secure the border.