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Updated: Jun 10, 2023

Well, I have to admit, this is a new one and at this point, looks pretty cool.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott announced yesterday that he has embraced some new tech for securing the border and limiting illegal crossings between ports.

The governor then displayed photos of a new "water-based barrier" meant to be deployed on waterways along the Texas-Mexico border. Weird, but apparently effective.

When I first heard about the new barrier, I immediately thought of those little orange balls on a rope at the lake that are supposed to be the “line” you should not cross. I always told my kids that the sharks stay on the other side of those little balls despite the fact that we have very few fresh water sharks in Proctor Lake, Texas. The lie worked though, so I understand the concept.

What these new barriers provide is much more than a line. When I began to research the barriers, I found that they resemble something like an obstacle on the show “WipeOut!”.

Held by cable, the wall is really a string of large pearls that freely spin on the cable making it nearly impossible to climb over. Of course, floating in the middle of the river there is no leverage to begin the climb so the effectiveness has been proven for over three decades by the Cochrane company who manufactures the water walls.

As soon as the news was released, speculation began and I read several news stories saying that the floating wall was covered in spikes. While the company does indeed make different products, there is no indication that this was the product chosen for the Rio Grande. Cochrane claims to be the premier supplier of what they refer to as rough water, high-security defense systems.

The Rio Grande is the fifth longest river in the United States and among the top twenty in the world. It extends from the San Juan Mountains of Colorado to the Gulf of Mexico (1,901 miles) and forms a 1,255 mile segment of the border between the United States and Mexico.

One thing that is so significant about Abbot’s decision is that he is well-known for “drawing a line in the sand” when it comes to illegal immigration, but this time he has literally drawn a line at the border.

According to the International Boundary and Water Commission, the continental follows the middle of the Rio Grande—according to the 1848 Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo between the two nations, "along the deepest channel" (also known as the thalweg)—a distance of 2,020 km (1,255 mi) to its mouth at the Gulf of Mexico. The Rio Grande frequently meanders along the Texas–Mexico border. As a result, the U.S. and Mexico have a treaty by which the Rio Grande is maintained as the border, with new cut-offs and islands being transferred to the other nation as necessary.

Abbot is putting a wall down the middle of the river and says that the string of buoys will prevent people attempting to cross into Texas from ever reaching our shore.

Expectations are that we will see these strings of buoys almost immediately with the first 1,000 feet of the buoys being deployed in Eagle Pass, Texas, on July 7. The cost of the first 1,000 feet is about $1 million.

The “wall” is four-feet high, equipped with weights and netting, and designed to rotate to keep people from scaling them.

One part of this plan is pure genius as the strings can be moved up and down the river to areas experiencing surges.

The technology and the idea is not new. Trump originally was considering the barriers back in 2020.

Abbot had a busy week as he signed several border-related bills as well including SB1900, which now classifies Mexican drug cartels as foreign terrorists, adding them to organized crimes offenses under state law which results in higher penalties.

Another bill, SB423, authorizes the Texas Military Department to use drones to secure the border.

Another law now on the books, SB1133, helps Texas ranchers living in border communities who have their agricultural properties damaged by illegal immigrants or smugglers, providing them with up to $75,000 per incident.

It was also revealed Thursday that 11 other states have now sent members of their national guard to Texas to help secure the border.

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