Texas Seizes Control of Eagle Pass Park Amid Border Mission Despite Mayor’s Opposition

The Department of Justice (DOJ) has accused the Texas National Guard of impeding Border Patrol operations along a 2.5-mile stretch of the southern border in Eagle Pass, Texas. 

The filing coincides with the Supreme Court’s consideration of an emergency request from the Biden administration, seeking immediate permission to dismantle razor wire fencing installed by Texas along a 29-mile border stretch with Mexico.

The Biden administration contends that states lack the authority to obstruct federal officials in carrying out their duties, emphasizing the federal government’s primary responsibility for immigration policy and enforcement at the border. 

The administration argues against an injunction issued by a lower court, citing both the “risk to human life” posed by the razor wire and the supremacy of federal law enforcement authority.

In response, Texas, in its Supreme Court filing, asserts that removing the razor wire undermines the federal government’s intended purpose of enforcing immigration policy. 

The state cites a district court ruling, stating, “Defendants may not ‘seek judicial blessing of practices that both directly contravene those same statutory obligations and require the destruction of the Plaintiff’s property.'”

The latest DOJ filing details incidents where Border Patrol agents were allegedly denied access to areas critical for their operations. 

According to the filing, Texas National Guard personnel blocked access to Shelby Park, a known staging area for Border Patrol, Texas National Guard, and Texas Department of Public Safety.

The DOJ claims that the Texas National Guard’s actions are hindering Border Patrol’s ability to deploy mobile surveillance trucks and limiting access to crucial points such as a boat ramp on the Rio Grande and a staging area for inspecting apprehended migrants.

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Border Patrol Limits in Shelby Park Amid Dispute

texas-seizes-control-engle-pass-park-border-mission-despite-mayor-opposition
The Department of Justice (DOJ) has accused the Texas National Guard of impeding Border Patrol operations along a 2.5-mile stretch of the southern border in Eagle Pass, Texas.

The filing also highlights that Border Patrol’s visibility of the border is now restricted to a narrow sliver from a single surveillance camera outside the newly fenced area. 

An attached declaration from Robert Danley, Customs and Border Protection’s lead field coordinator, supports these claims, stating that Texas National Guard officials informed them they would no longer allow the drop-off or turnover of migrants in the fenced-off area.

Eagle Pass Mayor Rolando Salinas, in a Facebook video, expressed his disagreement with the state’s decision to take “full control” of Shelby Park. 

He emphasized that this was not a decision the city agreed to or sought, showing images of the park entrance blocked off by fencing and military vehicles.

Shelby Park has been central to Governor Greg Abbott’s efforts to deter illegal crossings under Operation Lone Star. 

The move to control the park “indefinitely” follows a visit by Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and aligns with the governor’s December renewal of a border disaster declaration.

The Texas Military Department, responding to ABC News, stated the action was in preparation for potential migrant crossings and to restrict access to organizations supporting illegal immigration in the park and Eagle Pass area. They assured local residents would retain access.

The developments come amid a blame game between Texas and the Biden administration, with Abbott’s office accusing President Biden’s open border policies of fueling the crisis, while the White House accuses Abbott of politicizing the border and endangering Border Patrol’s work.

Mayor Salinas revealed that city officials are exploring legal options to regain control of Shelby Park. The Supreme Court has yet to announce when it will weigh in on this matter.

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