Rep. Cloud Introduces Bill To Prevent DOJ from Suing States for Enforcing Border Security 

Washington, D.C. Today, Congressman Cloud introduced a bill called the “Prevent Aliens Through Rivers or Land Act,” (PATROL Act) which would block the Department of Justice (DOJ) from using the Rivers and Harbors Act to bring a lawsuit against states for enforcing border security.  

The bill is in direct response to the DOJ recently filing a lawsuit against the State of Texas, after Governor Abbott refused to remove a set of floating buoys along the Rio Grande near Eagle Pass designed to prevent illegal immigrants from crossing. The DOJ claims that Governor Abbott did not seek (or receive) a permit from the Army Corps of Engineers to construct the buoys.  

The need for urgency on border security cannot be understated. Since Joe Biden took office, officials have encountered more than 6.5 million illegal migrants at our southern border, including at least 169 people on the terrorist watch list. While this administration assumed office with strong border security policies in place, they have clearly pursued an open border agenda with lackluster enforcement regulations – choosing to legally prosecute Governor Abbott for trying to fix the crisis in Texas rather than doing their jobs.  

Congressman Cloud’s legislation would prevent this lawsuit and protect states who are trying to enforce our immigration laws. The bill would explicitly prohibit the DOJ from using the Rivers and Harbors Act to sue states for building barriers including any physical structure similar to a wall, fence, or floating buoy to prevent aliens from crossing the border.  

“The Biden administration should be applauding states for working to mitigate the border crisis, not suing them,” Congressman Cloud said. “Yet, the Biden administration’s willful disregard of our immigration laws continues to enrich and embolden criminals while harming law-abiding Americans. The PATROL Act allows states to build barriers to secure this nation and have more control in keeping their communities safe. If Joe Biden and his White House won’t do their jobs, Texas will. 

The “Prevent Aliens Through Rivers or Land Act” is currently cosponsored by Representatives Rick Allen (R-GA), Brian Babin (R-TX), Josh Brecheen (R-OK), Michael Burgess (R-TX), Mike Collins (R-GA), Dan Crenshaw (R-TX), Scott DesJarlais (R-TN), Jeff Duncan (R-SC), Bob Good (R-VA), Lance Gooden (R-TX), Doug LaMalfa (R-CA), Debbie Lesko (R-AZ), Alex Mooney (R-WV), Ralph Norman (R-SC), Matt Rosendale (R-MT), David Rouzer (R-NC), Chip Roy (R-TX), Beth Van Duyne (R-TX), and Randy Weber (R-TX). The bill is also supported by NumbersUSA and the Heritage Action.  

“Every state is now a border state as the southern border crisis continues to get worse, posing an ever-expanding threat to national security and American lives. The Biden administration is willfully keeping the border open and using the Department of Justice to punish states for taking matters into their own hands to secure it. The PATROL Act would allow states to rightfully protect their citizens with border barriers and ensure that the rule of law is being followed.” Ryan Walker, Executive Vice President, Heritage Action

Click here to read the full bill text. 

Click here to read Fox New’s article about the bill.

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