White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre condemned Texas Gov. Greg Abbott for installing razor wire barriers in the Rio Grande to block migrants from crossing the U.S.-Mexico border.
Jean-Pierre made the comments during a White House press briefing on Wednesday, saying Abbott’s decision was ‘atrocious’ and ‘inhumane.’ The White House official stopped short of saying whether President Biden had discussed the issue with the Mexican government.
‘Texas has been installing these buoys along with razor wire on the Rio Grande near Eagle Pass. Mexico is now requesting that Texas remove these barriers. They say the state is violating international treaties and that they raised this with the administration three weeks ago. Do you agree with Mexico that Texas is violating these international treaties?’ a reporter asked.
‘This governor … has treated the situation that we’re seeing at the border in an inhumane way,’ Jean-Pierre responded. ‘It is atrocious, the actions that he decides to take. He takes this [action] instead of dealing with this issue in a way that we can get to a resolution and working together, he turns it into a political stunt.’
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‘I can’t speak to conversations three weeks ago with the Mexican government,’ she added. ‘I don’t have any information to share if that came up in a conversation.’
Mexico sent a diplomatic note to the U.S. government earlier this week saying that Texas’ deployment of floating barriers along the Rio Grande may violate treaties on boundaries and water.
Texas began rolling out the new floating barriers in early July, but migrant advocates have voiced concerns about drowning risks from the buoys. Environmentalists also questioned the impact on the river.
Abbott’s office has defended the inflatable barriers, arguing they will ‘proactively prevent illegal crossings between ports of entry by making it more difficult to cross the Rio Grande and reach the Texas side of the southern border.’
‘Texas has pushed back against the swell of migrants and held the line to keep people out of Texas — but there’s more that needs to be done,’ Abbott said last month. ‘The Texas Legislature has stepped up to make sure we continue to robustly respond to President Biden’s growing border crisis, including allocating $5.1 billion for border security.’
Fox News’ Greg Norman contributed to this report.