From misleading headlines to the 5th Circuit Court issuing a stay allowing Texas to keep its buoy barrier in the Rio Grande River, the inhumane contraption – dreamed up by someone who clearly doesn’t value non-white lives – was never going anywhere. The September 6 order from Judge Ezra in Austin, Texas – which news outlets cited – never said to “remove,” the barrier but rather, to simply “repositioning” it.

With respect to the buoy barrier that is currently in place, this is a Preliminary Injunction and not a final disposition of this case on the full merits, so this Court is counseled to act in a measured way,” reads a footnote in Judge Ezra’s Sep. 6 decision. “As a result, the Court is directing that the buoy barrier be moved from the main waters of the Rio Grande River to the riverbank, rather than removal entirely from the river, so that the barrier does not impede or impair in any way navigation by airboats or other shallow draft craft along the Rio Grande River.”

Clearly, most reporters aren’t aware that riverbanks include water to a certain point according to Texas law (and the laws in other states). With that said, moving a barrier a few feet over means the barrier is still there, just relocated. The misleading nature of the headlines we saw for two days led many to believe the decision was a victory. When I cited the order and tried to explain the order it only seemed to anger people as they refused to make corrections.

Those headlines are still up, by the way.

Because of that, the predictable decision from the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals came as a shock late yesterday evening to many despite Judge Ezra seeking a final judgment from the 5th Circuit or the Supreme Court. To think Texas wouldn’t appeal the judge’s decision was also naive. Judge Ezra left way too many doors open for Abbott. He ruled in Texas’ favor while seeming impartial.

“Absent modification by the Court, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, or the  Supreme Court, this Order preliminarily enjoining the above activities shall remain in effect until a final judgment on the merits is entered in this matter. IT IS SO ORDERED,” Judge Ezra continued

Part of the problem is the Department of Justice’s weak case. Instead of going after Texas on its illegal and unconstitutional immigration policies, they simply argued that the buoy barrier in the Rio Grande was impeding traffic and was placed without proper authorization. The Biden administration has yet to take decisive action against the state and that’s intentional, as I’ve previously reported. The White House seems to fear the Supreme Court more than anything and this is allowing racist policies to be implemented at the state level with impunity.

Texas Gov. Abbott will continue to get away with these violations until the Biden administration acts as it should to protect human rights in the United States.

NOTE: My original article on Judge Ezra’s order NEVER said the buoy barrier had to be “removed”. I was clear about its “repositioning”. Anything that said otherwise should be classified as misinformation.

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Arturo Dominguez

Arturo is an anti-racist political nerd. He is an upcoming author, journalist, advocate for social justice, and a married father of three. He is a top writer on Medium and a regular contributor to several news media outlets. He writes educational and informative material about systemic racism, white supremacy, and racial injustice.

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