Safety or Threat? – Border Security Measures Under SCRUTINY

( – Mexico has sent a “diplomatic note” to the United States government regarding the floating barriers deployed in the Rio Grande by Texas.

An inspection team will be sent to see if the barriers extend to the Mexican side of the border, according to Foreign Relations Secretary Alicia Bárcena. Bárcena said the barriers could be in violation of treaties regarding boundaries and waterways, which specify that the river must be unimpeded.

Bárcena was also unhappy with the barbed wire that was installed on an island in the Rio Grande near Eagle Pass, Texas.

In July, Texas began deploying the floating barriers as a way to deter illegal border crossings through the Rio Grande. The 1,000-foot-long barrier, manufactured by Cochrane USA Corporation, consists of 4-foot-wide buoys as well as webbing under the buoys, which prevents people from swimming under the floating barrier. The connected barriers appear to spin when someone attempts to climb on them.

The work has mostly been focused on an area of the river near Eagle Pass, Texas. According to the Texas Department of Safety, there are a high number of illegal crossings.

Since the barriers were deployed, advocates for migrants have been concerned about the risk of drowning due to the barriers, while environmental groups have voiced concerns over the impact on the Rio Grande.

The Texas Legislature allocated $5.1 billion for border security. In June, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed a package of six border-security bills to help the state manage border security and reduce the number of illegal border crossings. The six bills give the Border Patrol agents who complete Texas DPS training authorization to make arrests. The legislation also allows searches and seizures to be done at established border checkpoints; it enables the Texas military to use unmanned aircraft during search and recovery missions; and landowners will also receive compensation for property damage caused by illegal migration activities.

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