Posted 40 days ago
The Department of Homeland Security is threatening Texas with legal action if it doesn’t end its seizure of a park along the Rio Grande River – claiming the move is unconstitutional and impedes Border Patrol operations along the border.
"Texas’s actions are clearly unconstitutional and are actively disrupting the federal government’s operations. We demand that Texas cease and desist its efforts to block Border Patrol’s access in and around the Shelby Park area and remove all barriers to access in the Shelby Park area," the letter to Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, a copy of which was obtained by Fox News Digital, says.
Texas took control of Shelby Park in Eagle Pass, an area that had previously served as a staging area for processing during migrant surges in the busy crossing area, on Wednesday.
The Texas Military Department said the move was to prepare for future illegal immigrant surges and to stop organizations that "perpetuate illegal immigrant crossings in the park and greater Eagle Pass area."
It marked a rapid escalation in already high tensions between Texas and the federal government over border security. There are currently a number of ongoing lawsuits between the two sides.
In its letter, DHS says Texas is blocking Border Patrol from approximately 2.5 miles of the border and that some of the barriers deployed by Texas are on federal land.
"While Texas has claimed that it has re-opened the use of Shelby Park to the public, it continues to prevent Border Patrol from entering, and from using the area under the adjacent port of entry where Border Patrol has certain property stored for use when migrants are apprehended," it said.
The letter cites a 2012 Supreme Court case, Arizona v U. S., that found the federal government has broad power over immigration and border enforcement.
The letter also highlights a recent incident in which three migrants, including two children, drowned in the area after it says Border Patrol was blocked from accessing it. Texas has said clams that it prevented Border Patrol from saving lives of migrants are "wholly inaccurate" and that bodies were already being recovered by Mexican authorities when agents requested access to the area.... (Read more)