Barrier in the waters of the Rio Grande (July 13)
Photo: ADAM DAVIS / EPA
The southern border between the USA and Mexico remains in the national focus – and this is unlikely to change much in the medium term in view of the approaching election campaign for the 2024 presidential election. The White House has now branded the migration policy of Texas Republican Governor Greg Abbott as "cruel" and inhumane. The government is particularly disturbed by a new action by the state, which had caused excitement and disapproval nationwide and even internationally.
White House spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre criticized the recent construction of a floating barrier in the Rio Grande River on the border with Mexico against illegal migration in Washington on Wednesday.
Abbott's actions were "cruel" and lacked "basic human decency," she lamented. Abbott's new push does not come as a surprise. The Texas governor is repeatedly practicing "political stunts" instead of dealing constructively with the situation at the border.
Abbott had ordered the construction of the floating barrier, which could make border crossings even more dangerous for migrants. The barrier will strengthen his administration's deterrent measures against illegal border crossings from Mexico, the Republican said.
The large orange buoys are currently being tied together and anchored to the bottom of the river in the area around the town of Eagle Pass. According to the Texas authorities, the installation of the barrier began on June 10. When completed, the barrier is expected to be about 305 meters long, and construction could take up to two weeks.
Experts warn of changing currents
According to official figures, the floating wall is intended to help secure the border between the USA and Mexico. "We are always striving to use the most effective strategies to secure the border," Abbott said at a press conference about the barrier.
Experts warn that the barriers could alter the flow of the river, which could make the crossing more dangerous for migrants, or that the floating wall could drive people to try to cross the Rio Grande in a more dangerous place.
The Mexican government had also recently expressed concern about the floating barrier and complained, among other things, that it violated bilateral and international treaties. The construction of a barbed wire fence on an island off the US state of Texas was also criticized.
Mexico is on the route of people trying to reach the United States. They are fleeing poverty, violence and political crises in their home countries.