Sen. JD Vance (R-Ohio) introduced legislation Thursday that would prohibit the federal government from removing the fencing at the U.S.-Mexico border, days after the Supreme Court ruled the feds can take down the razor wire in Texas.
The bill, titled the State Border Security Act, would prevent federal agents from removing the barbed wire or other fencing built by state governments within 25 miles of the U.S.-Mexico border.
“The Supreme Court gave Joe Biden a green light to cut down barriers put in place by the State of Texas,” Vance said in a statement. “My bill would codify the right of every state along the U.S.-Mexico border to defend its own territory. If Joe Biden refuses to take action, let the states get the job done.”
In a 5-4 decision issued Monday, the nation’s highest court vacated an appeals court ruling last month that permitted the wire to stay, siding with the Biden administration amid its ongoing legal battle with Texas.
Republican Rep. Mike Collins (Ga.) introduced similar legislation in the lower chamber Wednesday, titled the Restricting Administration Zealots from Obliging Raiders (RAZOR) Act. This would prohibit the federal government from removing border barriers built by Texas or other states.
The federal government has argued the Lone Star State does not have the authority to build the fencing, while Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) contends the Biden administration is not doing enough to handle the influx of migrants into his state, making the fencing necessary for Texas’s security.
The legal battle escalated earlier this month after the Texas National Guard and the Texas Department of Public Safety began putting up fences and razor wire in a riverside park in Eagle Pass, Texas. Texas National Guard soldiers also blocked park access to Border Patrol officials.
Tensions further intensified days after the razor wire was erected when three migrants, including two children, drowned in the Rio Grande near the park. Border Patrol officials claimed the Texas National Guard stopped federal officials from accessing the river to save them, which Texas officials have denied.
The Texas National Guard appeared to continue to build razor wire barriers Tuesday following the ruling, and Abbott later said his authority to fight an “invasion” of the state “supersedes” federal law.
A group of Republican governors backed Abbott’s actions Thursday.