A floating barrier installed by Texas authorities to stop migrants crossing the border from Mexico is illegal, the US ambassador to the Latin American country said Thursday.
“It seems to me that what Texas is doing is illegal. But they are also doing it to make migration a political issue, and not a humanitarian and economic issue,” Ken Salazar told reporters.
The buoys were installed in the Rio Grande river at a popular migrant crossing point earlier in July on the instructions of Texas Governor Greg Abbott, along with large razor-wire barriers on shore.
The US Justice Department has filed a lawsuit in a federal court in Texas, saying the buoys illegally obstruct river navigation and lack federal authorization — a move welcomed by Mexico.
Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said Tuesday that the barrier violated his country’s sovereignty.
According to Foreign Minister Alicia Barcena, three-quarters of the roughly 300-meter (1,000-foot) barrier is located in Mexican territory.
She said her office had sent two diplomatic notes to Washington specifying the border treaties that were being breached.