It is the responsibility of the U.S. government to secure the border and protect American citizens. After years of inaction by the Biden administration, the state of Texas has utilized its authority to respond to the crisis.

In June, Gov. Abbott directed that a marine barrier be placed in the Rio Grande to deter migrant river crossings and to stem the tide of border crossing deaths, which have recently reached record numbers.

He argued that it was under his constitutional authority to act in the stead of President Biden. In a letter addressed to the president on July 24, 2023, Gov. Abbott reasoned, “In accordance with Article I, Section 10 Clause 3 of the U.S. Constitution, I have asserted Texas’s ‘sovereign interest in protecting [her] borders.’” He continued, “Your ongoing violation of Article IV, Section 4 of the U.S. Constitution has left me no other choice.”

These actions, however, have not gone without causing a bit of controversy, with the Dallas Morning News often depicting the 1000-foot barrier as “inhumane” and “anti-migrant.”

These buoys, and all actions taken by the state of Texas to secure its border, are not “anti-migrant;” they are pro-migrant safety, pro-legal immigration, and anti-cartel — the latter being the truly malevolent actors in this crisis.

The buoys deployed by the Texas Department of Public Safety are not traps, as some have said. They are designed to be obvious, clearly visible, bright orange devices that function as deterrent to those wishing to cross into the United States illegally, the exact opposite of the hidden, illusive nature of a trap.

The barriers deter individuals from crossing between ports of entry, where resources are scarce, and the safety of migrants is significantly threatened by the brutal environment of the border region. When migrants cross at ports of entry, their claims of asylum can more easily be processed, and their personal safety can be more easily secured.

With the buoys, Texas intends to prevent deaths and encourage safe and legal passage into the United States. One significant reason for migrant death is drownings from crossing the Rio Grande at points too deep to safely cross. Perhaps if the barriers had been installed earlier, the recent drowning deaths of four migrants, including an infant, could have been prevented.

The inhumanity of the border crisis has been inflamed and driven by the scourge of drug cartels that work to smuggle both drugs and migrants across the border, an industry that is now estimated to be worth $13 billion. If the current administration genuinely cares about human life, its first action should be to fully enforce the laws of the United States and crack down on the illegal activity of Mexican drug cartels. The real blame for “anti-migrant” behavior should be placed at the feet of President Biden, who, through his inaction, has allowed conditions to sour so badly that the United Nations recently declared our southern border to be the deadliest land crossing in the world.

If anything has become apparent, it is that the cartels should be referred to as “anti-migrant.” After reading coverage of the cartels in the Dallas Morning News over the past month, the cartels were never labeled “anti-migrant.” Wouldn’t that be a much more fitting label for the groups who are taking advantage of the vulnerable and only acting in their corrupt self-interest?