Republican congressman Chip Roy is encouraging officials in his home state of Texas to ignore a Supreme Court ruling on the fate of a razor wire fence along the US-Mexico border, which state authorities erected to prevent migrants from crossing.
The court issued an order on Monday allowing for US Border Patrol agents to cut or clear out the wire that Texas officials installed as part of Governor Greg Abbott’s aggressive tactics to deter migrants from entering the US through Texas.
The sharp wire caused injuries and made it difficult for US officials to aid migrants, so the Biden administration asked the Supreme Court to intervene in the ongoing battle between the state and the government
But despite an order from the highest court in the land, Mr Roy, a member of the far-right Freedom Caucus faction of the Republican House of Representatives, told Texas officials to disregard the decision.
“This opinion is unconscionable and Texas should ignore it on behalf of the [Border Patrol Union] agents who will be put in a worse position by the opinion and the Biden administration’s policies,” Mr Roy wrote on X on Monday.
The increase in migrants seeking asylum or immigrating to the US via the US-Mexico border has caused a massive rift between state governments and the Biden administration and quickly turned into a point of tension between conservatives and liberals.
This opinion is unconscionable and Texas should ignore it on behalf of the @BPUnion agents who will be put in a worse position by the opinion and the Biden administration’s policies. https://t.co/NrQEgEvoxN
— Chip Roy (@chiproytx) January 23, 2024
Other conservatives, like Republican Representative Clay Higgins of Louisana, have vocalised their support for Texas amid the ruling.
Mr Higgins tweeted, “Texas should stand their ground” and accused the federal government of “staging a civil war”.
In response, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre called Mr Higgins’ rhetoric “not helpful” in helping solve the crisis at the border.
“All of the political stunts, some of them put border patrol agents’ lives in danger, it puts migrants’ ives in danger, it’s not helpful at all,” Ms Jean-Pierre said.
Texas’ handling of migrant crossings, specifically Mr Abbott’s harsh policies implemented through his Operation Lone Star, have been subject to heavy criticism and legal challenges.
Already, the Justice Department sued Texas after Mr Abbott passed a law allowing migrants to be arrested for crossing the border.
Mr Abbott has pledged to continue using the state National Guard to “hold the line” and re-posted a video showing the Texas National Guard installing more razor wire at the border.
At the moment, Senators are negotiating a bipartisan border security deal.