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Court grants temporary stay allowing Texas to keep Rio Grande barriers in place

Workers assemble buoys at U.S. Mexico border in Eagle Pass, Texas

By Ted Hesson and Kanishka Singh

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A U.S. Appeals Court on Thursday granted a temporary stay allowing Texas to keep in place floating buoys installed in the middle of the Rio Grande to block migrants from illegally crossing the U.S.-Mexico border as court proceedings move forward, a court filing showed.

A U.S. judge had ordered Texas on Wednesday to move the floating buoys in what was seen as a tentative win for President Joe Biden, whose administration sued the state.

Although that order was not meant to take effect until Sept. 15, Thursday's ruling could prevent Texas from having to take immediate steps to start moving the barriers to the embankment.

The floating barrier is one of multiple strategies Governor Greg Abbott has launched to deter migrants, including coils of razor wire placed along the riverbank.

Abbott's border operations came under increased scrutiny in July after an internal trooper email surfaced alleging that Texas authorities had been ordered to push migrant children back into the river and deny water to migrants in extreme heat.

(Reporting by Ted Hesson and Kanishka Singh; editing by Mica Rosenberg and Leslie Adler)