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Texas must move a large floating barrier that Gov. Greg Abbott placed on the river between the U.S. and Mexico this summer as part of the Republican’s escalating attempts to stop migrants from crossing America’s southern border, a federal judge ruled Wednesday.

U.S. District Judge David Ezra stopped short of ordering Texas to dismantle the wrecking-ball sized buoys on the Rio Grande but called them a threat to safety and relationships between the neighboring countries. His preliminary injunction instructs Texas, for now, to move the barrier out of the water and onto the riverbank by Sept. 15.

Ezra also cast doubt on Texas’ rationale for the barrier, writing that the state produced no “credible evidence that the buoy barrier as installed has significantly curtailed illegal immigration.”

The lawsuit was brought by the Justice Department in a rare instance of President Joe Biden’s administration going to court to challenge Texas’ border policies.

Texas officials said they would appeal.

“Today’s court decision merely prolongs President Biden’s willful refusal to acknowledge that Texas is rightfully stepping up to do the job that he should have been doing all along,” Abbott said.

Abbott invoked “invasion” powers to deploy aggressive new tactics starting last year. Texas’ use of dozens of bright orange buoys to create a barrier longer than a soccer field on a stretch of river where migrants often try crossing from Mexico is just one piece of his multibillion-dollar border mission known as Operation Lone Star. The state has also installed razor-wire fencing along the river and allowed troopers to arrest migrants on trespassing charges, among other things.

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