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US official says floating Texas border blockade raises Mexican concerns

US official says floating Texas border blockade raises Mexican concerns

The Mexican government has expressed its concern to the United States on several occasions about the buoys placed in the Texas Rio Grande (or Grande) to stop migrants, and if the ban on the float continues at the site it could affect agreements between the two countries. , a US State Department official told the court on Tuesday.

The testimony was to reinforce that the federal government maintains the diplomatic risks posed by the ball-sized floats, which Texas Gov. Greg Abbott earlier this year approved as part of a serious Republican effort to slow the flow of immigrants at the border. .

Federal Judge David Ezra did not issue a ruling until after Tuesday’s hearing in Austin. At one point, Ezra said, the focus was on whether Abbott had the authority to unilaterally stop what the governor described as an “invasion” of the U.S.’s southern border.

“Mexico is sensitive about sovereignty and does not want to be seen as the junior partner of the United States,” said Hillary Guam, the State Department’s coordinator for US-Mexico border affairs.

Guam said Mexico had raised concerns “at the highest diplomatic levels” with the United States in the short time that floats the length of a few football fields were submerged in a section of the river. The Texas city of Eagle Pass. Guam said infrastructure projects between the countries and Mexico’s commitments to supply water to the United States could be stalled because of the ban.

The hearing comes days after Texas moved the ban closer to US soil. During a trip to Eagle Pass on Monday, Abbott said the blockade was changed “as a precaution” after allegations of diversion to the Mexican side of the river. He added that he did not know whether the allegations were true.

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Ezra questions why Texas would have moved the embankment if it was already on the American side and river currents caused the floats to shift.

“If Texas was comfortable with the state of prohibition, they wouldn’t have done it,” Ezra said.

The State called one witness to this position, a representative of Cochrane Global, the manufacturer of the floats, who testified that the barrier was installed safely. Patrick Sweden, special counsel for the Texas Attorney General’s office, also noted Secretary of State Anthony Blinken’s recent comments that U.S.-Mexico relations are strong.

Appointed by former President Ronald Reagan, Ezra insisted that his ruling at the end of the trial would stick to the controversy at hand and not lead to political issues. Whatever the ruling, it is likely to be appealed to the conservative-leaning U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit.


Associated Press writer Valerie Gonzalez in McAllen, Texas contributed to this report.