Although many Texas residents support his tactics, Governor Greg Abbott has been fiercely criticized for his decision to install a barrier of orange buoys on a section of the Rio Grande, separated with blade saw-like barbed disks, in a bid to deter migrants from crossing into his state.
In addition, miles of razor wire have been installed along the riverbanks and shallower areas of the river between Eagle Pass and Piedras Negras. These measures, in the words of one trooper quoted in the Houston Chronicle, “forces people to cross in areas that are deeper and not as safe for those carrying kids and bags.”
Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador slammed Abbott’s move, describing the buoys and razor wire as “inhumane,” while Mexico’s Foreign Relations Ministry lodged an official diplomatic complaint, citing human rights violations.
White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre called the barriers “shameful” and “atrocious.” Many other Democratic Party politicians have expressed their disgust.
Late last month, the U.S. Justice Department (DOJ) ordered Texas to remove the buoys, saying they disregarded the River and Harbor Act, constituted a “risk to public safety,” and violated treaties ensuring Mexico’s sovereignty.