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Court lets Texas keep floating border buoys in Rio Grande — for now

The floating border buoys that Texas installed in the middle of the Rio Grande to curb the flow of illegal immigrants may remain while the controversial measure makes its way through the courts, a federal appeals court ruled Thursday.

The temporary stay issued by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit comes abruptly after a U.S. judge ordered the state a day prior to move the floating buoys to the embankment. 

Texas water buoys in Rio Grande River

Buoys float on the Rio Grande River in Eagle Pass, Texas, July 20, 2023, as a Mexican engineer with the International Boundary and Water Commission uses GPS determine to see if the buoys are crossing into Mexican territory.  (Omar Ornelas/ El Paso Times / USA TODAY NETWORK / File)

Although that order was not meant to take effect until Sept. 15, Thursday’s ruling could prevent Texas from having to take immediate steps to start moving the barriers.

Gov. Greg Abbott deployed the buoys in July to deter the flow of migrants coming across the southern border. The plan was part of the governor’s broader Operation Lone Star. 

Fox News Digital has reached out to Abbott’s office for comment. 

Reuters contributed to this report.

Bradford Betz is a Fox News Digital breaking reporter covering crime, political issues, and much more. 

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