MSN – Texas is planning to install floating barriers in the middle of the Rio Grande in an attempt to block migrants from crossing the river into the United States, Gov. Greg Abbott announced Thursday.
The barrier will be composed of large orange buoys held together by a cable and anchored in the riverbed, according to mock images of the plan presented by Abbott and other state officials during a border security bill signing ceremony in Austin.
The state is planning to start next month with a 1,000-foot span of barrier in the river near Eagle Pass that has been a busy crossing point.
The governor, a Republican, did not say what the state planned to spend on the floating barriers, but the legislation he signed authorizes $5.1 billion for border security.
The Border Patrol’s Del Rio Sector, where Eagle Pass is located, has become one of the deadliest places along the U.S. southern border. Migrants are routinely swept away by powerful river currents, and more than 200 deaths were recorded in the sector between 2017 and 2021, the latest year for which U.S. Customs and Border Protection statistics are available.
Eight people drowned on a single day last September after dozens were swept away in the Eagle Pass area, and a Texas National Guard soldier died near there in April 2022 trying to rescue two people who turned out to be drug smuggling suspects.
The Trump administration solicited proposals for floating border barriers in 2020 but did not award a contract. One CBP official said Thursday the agency opted against installing the buoy system because it was expected to increase drownings and risks to U.S. agents conducting water rescues.
The official spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to reporters … READ MORE.