The US state of Texas is to remove a controversial floating barrier in the US-Mexico border river Rio Grande, according to a court order. A federal judge in the Texas city of Austin yesterday ordered the removal of the barrier by mid-September, as the television networks CBS and CNN unanimously reported.

The US government had filed a civil lawsuit against Texas for failing to obtain Washington approval for the barrier. In addition, this represents a threat to shipping and public safety, argued the US government. Texas can appeal the court decision.

Sharp criticism from the White House

A few weeks ago, the Republican governor of Texas, Greg Abbott, arranged for the approximately 300-meter-long barrier made of numerous buoys, each more than one meter in diameter, to be placed in the river. Barbed wire was laid along the shore. According to Abbott, this was intended to prevent migrants from swimming across the Rio Grande to get to the USA.

The White House had sharply criticized the approach. Activists and Democrats called the action cruel. Mexico’s government, in turn, submitted two diplomatic protest notes – among other things because the barrier violates Mexico’s sovereignty, violates bilateral and international treaties and endangers the personal safety of migrants. A dead person was discovered on the floating buoys in early August.