Posted on January 12, 2024

Texas Seizes Control of Park, Blocks Border Patrol From Entering, as Part of Anti-Illegal Immigration Efforts

Adam Shaw and Bill Melugin, Fox News, January 11, 2024

The Texas National Guard has seized control of a park at the U.S. southern border and is now blocking Border Patrol from entering the area – part of an effort to stop the surge of illegal immigration into Texas and a move likely to significantly increase tensions between Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and the federal government.

The state government has taken control of Shelby Park in the city of Eagle Pass, Texas, which has been at the center of the migrant crisis that has engulfed the U.S. border. Authorities have now set up razor wire and fences to block off the area.

Eagle Pass Mayor Rolando Salinas said he was informed that the decision was made as part of Gov. Greg Abbott’s emergency declaration. Salinas told reporters it was not something the city had requested, and he said his understanding is that Border Patrol was now not in the area as a result.

In a statement, the Texas Military Dept. said it has maintained a presence in the park since 2021, including with security points and temporary barriers.

“The current posture is to prepare for future illegal immigrant surges and to restrict access to organizations that perpetuate illegal immigrant crossings in the park and greater Eagle Pass area,” it said.

The Border Patrol union confirmed to Fox News that agents were being blocked from entering by Texas soldiers, and praised Abbott for taking matters into his own hands.

“Governor Abbott is not harming Border Patrol operations, he is enhancing them,” National Border Patrol Council Brandon Judd said in a statement. “His seizing control of Shelby Park allows our agents to deploy to troubled spots that experience high numbers of gotaways. Governor Abbott’s actions should be seen as a force multiplier.”

The dramatic move marks the latest escalation in a feud between the state of Texas and the federal government over how to handle the record-setting crisis, which has left both Texas and cities throughout the country overwhelmed.