Eagle Pass Business Owner Sues Texas Governor Abbott Over Buoy System

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Lawsuit Alleges Misuse of Texas Disaster Act and Threat to Local Business

A local business owner is suing Texas Governor Greg Abbott.

The lawsuit was filed Friday just hours after the governor tweeted a video of crews deploying large buoys along the Rio Grande near Eagle Pass.

According to court documents, the lawsuit accuses Abbott of misapplying the Texas Disaster Act of 1975 to justify the buoy system. Jessie Fuentes, who owns a small business that provides tours and kayak sessions in the area, also claims the buoys would cause “imminent and irreparable harm” to his business.

The “floating barrier” operation is part of the state’s plan to deter migrants from crossing the river after Maverick County saw an increase in illegal crossings. The first 1,000 feet of buoys are being placed near Eagle Pass but can be moved as needed.

Days before the barriers were put in place, the bodies of four migrants were pulled from the Rio Grande by the Texas Department of Public Safety.

On July 1, an adult woman and an infant girl were pulled onto an airboat and found unresponsive. Lifesaving measures were performed on the two as they were taken to Fort Duncan Regional Medical Center in Eagle Pass where they were pronounced dead. Two other survivors were rescued and turned over to Border Patrol.

A man’s body was then recovered from the river on July 2, followed by a woman’s body on July 3. Authorities said they don’t know the identity of the four people since none of them had documents.

The move to place buoys also comes after a Texas National Guard soldier drowned near Eagle Pass last year trying to rescue migrants in the river.

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