Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Texas took control of a section of the US-Mexico border and stopped Border Patrol agents from the government. Let’s see what happened after that

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Eagle Pass, Texas, is at the center of a growing argument between Texas and the federal government about how to handle the situation with migrants and who gets to control that part of the US-Mexico border.

On January 10, Texas authorities blocked US Border Patrol agents from a 2.5-mile area in Eagle Pass that had a lot of migrants crossing. This area includes Shelby Park, a city park by the Rio Grande, which is now blocked with gates and razor wire, making it hard for Border Patrol to get through.

After the Texas Military Department took control of Shelby Park, two kids and their mom drowned nearby in the Rio Grande on January 12. Texas and US officials blamed each other for what happened. And more unexpected things have happened since then.

Let’s look at what happened in Eagle Pass:

Wednesday, January 10:

The Texas National Guard stopped the Border Patrol from putting up cameras in Shelby Park. Robert Danley, who works with US Customs and Border Protection, said this. Also, Texas said no to the Border Patrol going to parts of the border. They started putting up wire, fences, and gates to block Shelby Park, a golf course, and an area under a bridge where agents were waiting for migrants.

Friday, January 12:

Around 8 p.m. CT, Mexico found out about two kids and a woman drowning near the Shelby Park boat ramp. Robert Danley shared this information.

Saturday, January 13:

The Mexico Immigration Institute informed the Del Rio Border Patrol that seven people tried to cross the Rio Grande in two groups the previous night.

People who crossed from Mexico to the US were waiting to be processed in Eagle Pass, Texas, on December 22, 2023. Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed a law on December 18, 2023, letting state police arrest and deport those who cross illegally from Mexico.

In the second group, two men reached the US side and were saved by Mexican authorities.

On January 13, Texas granted Border Patrol access to a boat ramp in Shelby Park, but with conditions, like providing information about each agent and restricted entry.

Monday, January 15:

A Border Patrol agent drove through a 2.5-mile area but was stopped by a Texas National Guard member.

The drownings and the rescue of two migrants by Mexico highlight Texas’ efforts to control the border and restrict Border Patrol’s access, even during emergencies, according to US Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogar.

She urged the Supreme Court to step in.

Wednesday, January 17:

The Department of Homeland Security set a deadline for Texas to end its blockade of Eagle Pass. If not, the matter would be referred to the Department of Justice.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s office insisted, “Texas will not surrender.”

On the night of the drownings, Texas Military Department didn’t stop Border Patrol from attempting a water rescue, according to Paxton.

On January 17, Texas started arresting migrants at Shelby Park for criminal trespassing, marking the first arrests since Texas took control.

Monday, January 22:

The Supreme Court voted 5-4 to allow Border Patrol to remove razor wire set up by Texas’ governor.

Last year, Texas took legal action to stop Border Patrol agents from cutting the coiled wire, claiming it messed up state property and made security worse.

The Homeland Security people were happy with the Supreme Court decision.

In a picture from September 27, Border Patrol agents are seen cutting through razor wire after families crossed the Rio Grande from Mexico in Eagle Pass, Texas.

“We can follow the laws and do it in a safe, kind, and organized way,” said the Homeland Security Department.

But the governor of Texas isn’t giving up.

“It’s not finished. Texas’ razor wire helps stop illegal crossings encouraged by Biden,” said Governor Greg Abbott on social media. “I’ll keep defending Texas’ power to secure the border and stop the Biden Admin from ruining our property.”

On January 23, the Homeland Security Department sent a letter to Texas’ lawyer, saying the state must fully open Shelby Park for Border Patrol agents. The letter pointed to the Supreme Court’s decision, allowing federal authorities to cut or remove razor wire. It argued that the government had the legal right to access disputed areas in Eagle Pass.

“According to federal law that lets the U.S. government take property rights needed to control and protect the borders, the Department got permanent land rights in and around Eagle Pass in 2008. This was to help build and keep up border barriers in the Shelby Park area,” wrote the Homeland Security Department to Paxton. “For a big part of the land, the Department got the rights from the City of Eagle Pass and private landowners through condemnation.”

Wednesday, January 24:

A TV crew in Eagle Pass saw Texas National Guard members adding more fencing and sharp wire in Shelby Park. The wire keeps migrants and Border Patrol away.

The government doesn’t plan to remove the sharp wire unless something big happens or there’s an emergency, a person who knows about operations told CNN.

EAGLE PASS, TEXAS – JANUARY 09: A kid’s shoe hangs on sharp wire by the Rio Grande on January 9, 2024, in Eagle Pass, Texas. After many migrants crossed the border last year, lots of trash and miles of sharp wire from the Texas National Guard remain along the U.S.-Mexico border. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

Another source told CNN on Tuesday that federal agents are ready to break the fence if someone needs help or if it’s “operationally necessary.”

On Wednesday, the Texas governor said President Joe Biden is not doing his job to protect the country’s borders.

“By wasting taxpayer dollars to tear open Texas’s border security infrastructure, President Biden has enticed illegal immigrants away from the 28 legal entry points along this State’s southern border — bridges where nobody drowns — and into the dangerous waters of the Rio Grande,” Abbott wrote.

Friday, January 26:

This is the second deadline set by the Department of Homeland Security for Texas to agree to fully reopen disputed parts of the Shelby Park area to federal Border Patrol agents.

“By January 26, 2024, please confirm that the State will provide U.S. Border Patrol with the access described above,” DHS General Counsel Jonathan E. Meyer wrote in a letter to Paxton. “If the State refuses the requested access in part, but not in whole, please specify what access you intend to deny.”

Monday, January 29:

More than two dozen attorneys general signed a letter of support for the state of Texas’ fight to secure its border, addressed to Biden and DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.

EAGLE PASS, TEXAS – JANUARY 12: National Guard soldiers stand guard on the banks of the Rio Grande river at Shelby Park on January 12, 2024, in Eagle Pass, Texas. The Texas National Guard continues its blockade and surveillance of Shelby Park in an effort to deter illegal immigration. The Department of Justice has accused the Texas National Guard of blocking Border Patrol agents from carrying out their duties along the river. (Photo by Brandon Bell/Getty Images)

The 26 attorneys general from Iowa, Utah, Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Ohio, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wyoming all signed the letter. Leadership from the state legislature of Arizona also signed the letter.

“I want to thank my colleagues from across the country for their support as Texas does the job that Biden refuses to do,” Paxton said in a news release. “The invasion, encouraged by Biden’s refusal to follow federal statutory law, is the biggest threat facing this country. Texas will continue doing everything in her power to close the border and protect America.”

Friday, February 16:

Abbott announced plans to build an 80-acre base to house up to 1,800 Texas National Guard members near Eagle Pass.

Texas Governor Gregg Abbott speaks near Eagle Pass, Texas on Friday, February 16.

The base camp will have the ability to expand and incorporate up to 2,300 personnel, he said.

Thursday, February 29:

Former President Donald Trump is scheduled to visit Eagle Pass – the same day Biden is expected to visit another border city in Texas.

The 2024 presidential candidates are set to make appearances about 300 miles apart. Trump is expected to deliver remarks in Eagle Pass, and Biden is expected to meet with US Border Patrol agents, law enforcement, and local leaders in Brownsville.

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