Texas has initiated a plan to install a floating barrier consisting of round orange buoys in the Rio Grande as part of its efforts to prevent unauthorized border crossings. The Texas Department of Public Safety has begun constructing a 1,000-foot-long barrier using 4-foot-wide orange buoys that will be chained together. The aim is to create a deterrent by obstructing access to the border.
Governor Greg Abbott emphasized the preventive nature of the buoys, stating that they would hinder people from reaching the border. The buoys can be connected over long distances, and the initial phase focuses on implementing the floating barrier near Eagle Pass, Texas. The Texas Department of Public Safety highlighted the use of webbing to prevent individuals from swimming underneath the barrier.
Concerns have been raised by advocates for migrants, who argue that the buoys could lead to more drownings in the river. Abbott and officials, however, hope that the potential risk of death will discourage individuals from attempting to cross the river.
Operation Lone Star, initiated by Governor Abbott in 2021, grants Texas more control over border enforcement. As part of the program, the state has been making arrests on state charges and transporting migrants to cities led by Democratic officials, such as New York and Chicago.
A local business owner in Eagle Pass has filed a lawsuit against the state, claiming that the buoys will impede access to the Rio Grande and harm their river-touring business. The lawsuit questions the state’s authority to install the buoys.