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Abbott moves ahead with floating border barriers on Rio Grande despite liberal outrage

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott on Friday announced that the Lone Star State is installing its “marine barrier installation” as part of its efforts to stop illegal immigration across the U.S.-Mexico border — a move that has brought criticism from left-wing groups.

“New marine barrier installation on the Rio Grande begins today. Texas DPS is overseeing the project in Eagle Pass. More to come,” the governor tweeted.

Abbott had announced the barrier, consisting of orange buoys and intended to discourage migrants from crossing the Rio Grande, last month. It is part of Operation Lone Star, a multifaceted operation to tackle the border crisis amid what Republicans say is a vacuum of leadership from the federal government.

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“Anytime they get in that water, it’s a risk to the migrants. This is the deterrent from even coming in the water,” Texas Department of Public Safety director Steve McCraw said last month.

The move has seen pushback from left-wing groups. Environmental activists held a demonstration this week near the border, including holding a prayer for the river, according to The Associated Press.

A group holding signs as they protest against buoys that are set to be deployed in the Rio Grande, Friday, July 7, 2023, in Eagle Pass, Texas, where border crossings continue to place stress on local resources.  ((AP Photo/Eric Gay))

An attorney for the left-wing American Civil Liberties Union in Texas told CNN that the move is “the latest in a chain of gifts from the state to private contractors to fuel the governor’s manufactured crisis at the border.”

Gov. Abbott said that barbed wire was installed to close a gap at the U.S.-Mexico border Video

However, there were still more than 200,000 migrant encounters in May overall. The administration has called on Congress to provide more funding and to pass an immigration reform bill.

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But Republicans have balked at the inclusion of an amnesty for millions of illegal immigrants already in the U.S., and have instead said that the Biden administration has incentivized the crisis with its “catch-and-release” policies.

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