Week after week, Texas National Guard soldiers unfurl concertina wire on the bank of the Rio Grande, along the concrete levy and the ragged edge where tall cane grows. The military-style barrier is 6 feet tall, sharp enough to tear flesh.
Gov. Greg Abbott’s deployment of troops to El Paso under Operation Lone Star is nearing the three-month mark, raising questions about whether soldiers, Humvees and razor-wire fencing will become a permanent fixture of the El Paso border landscape — and whether the new infrastructure is lawful or warranted.
The U.S. section of the International Boundary and Water Commission, a federal agency, controls the riverbank and levies and must license and permit construction in the zone. The IBWC confirmed to the El Paso Times that Texas hasn’t pursued permits to erect infrastructure at the border.