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'Floating barrier' to be placed in Rio Grande at Eagle Pass to prevent migrants crossing the river

The Texas Department of Public Safety is overseeing the floating barrier operation.

SAN ANTONIO — Texas Governor Greg Abbott's office has sent a floating barrier to the Rio Grande to prevent migrants from crossing the river along the Texas/Mexico border.

The floating barrier will be placed in the Rio Grande near the Eagle Pass area.

The Texas Department of Public Safety is overseeing the floating barrier operation. Steve McCraw, DPS Director, said back in June the first 1,000 feet of buoys are being deployed near Eagle Pass because of an uptick in illegal crossings in the Maverick County area. He said the buoys, which can be moved to other locations as needed, are intended to deter migrants from attempting to cross the river, which is deep and fast-flowing in spots.

“Nobody needs to come between the ports of entry. It’s dangerous,” McCraw said. “Family units who come across … are risking themselves and their family members.”

This also comes after four migrants, including an infant, drowned in the river in Eagle Pass this week. A Texas National Guard soldier from Arlington drowned last year in Eagle Pass while attempting to rescue migrants in the river. 

The governor tweeted video of the buoys Friday, which appear to be large orange cylinders strung together.

Within hours of his announcement, a kayak business operator from Eagle Pass filed a lawsuit against the governor's office over the barriers, the Houston Chronicle reported.

The governor tweeted a response to that Houston Chronicle article, saying "We will see you in court."

The Texas Tribune contributed to some of the reporting in this article.

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