CV NEWS FEED // The Texas National Guard this week took “custody” of a public park on the state’s border with Mexico in order to stop migrants crossing the border in droves.
“The Texas Military Department confirms the TX National Guard has seized control of Shelby Park in Eagle Pass,” FOX News’ Bill Melugin reported Thursday evening.
Melugin stated that the National Guard is “restricting Border Patrol from accessing the area, saying the Feds ‘perpetuate illegal crossings.’”
Melugin specified that the park is a “city property where mass illegal crossings are” have been occurring. “Razor wire and fences are now deployed to block the area off from the public and federal government.”
The Texas Military Department confirmed in a statement that the Texas National Guard “has maintained a presence with security points and temporary barrier in Shelby Park since 2021.”
“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,” the Department explained.
The Washington Examiner’s Eden Villalovas wrote that the National Guard’s mobilization came on the order of Texas Republican Gov. Greg Abbott.
“As caravans of migrants are moving through Mexico toward the U.S. border, we are making clear that Texas will be a tough place to cross,” Abbott wrote on X (formerly Twitter) Thursday night.
Villalovas added that the governor’s move “def[ied] the wishes of city officials.”
“Of course, that is not a decision that we agreed to,” said Democratic Eagle Pass Mayor Rolando Salinas in a live Facebook video post late Wednesday as the National Guard began to assert control of Shelby Park. “This is not something that we wanted. This is not something that we asked for as a city.”
“I received that phone call from Texas [Department of Public Safety (DPS)],” the mayor recounted. “They were stating that they have an emergency declaration from the state, from the governor, and they’re using that declaration to take full control, custody of Shelby Park.”
“Again, this is something that the city didn’t sign up for,” Salinas repeated. “Our legal team is looking into what is going on, just to make sure that everything is being done in a legal manner.”
The mayor said that he asked National Guard officers the reason for their operation. “They tell me that it is of course … to prevent illegal, undocumented people from crossing into Eagle Pass.”
He also noted in the video post that “weeks ago,” his city experienced “thousands of people crossing” over the border.
“I believe 100 percent” that Biden “bears some responsibility for this crisis,” Salinas said on CNN at the time. “I haven’t heard from anybody in the administration. The president hasn’t put out a statement, the vice president, I haven’t heard from anybody.”
“We’re here abandoned,” the Eagle Pass mayor emphasized. “We’re on the border, we’re asking for help. This is unacceptable.”
Federal law enforcement agents appeared to back the Texas governor’s effort to secure his state’s border.
“Governor Abbott is not harming Border Patrol operations, he is enhancing them,” indicated the National Border Patrol Council (NBPC) in a Thursday night statement to Melugin. The NBPC is the official labor union of the U.S. Border Patrol.
The union said Abbott “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 NBPC said.
Villalovas explained that the 47.4-acre Shelby Park
lines the banks of the Rio Grande, and it is normally open to the public to hold community events and gatherings. However, [it] has become a staging area for Texas DPS and the National Guard, acting on behalf of Operation Lone Star, an initiative passed two years ago to curb the flow of immigrants into the state.
Melugin indicated on X Thursday that the Biden administration’s Department of Justice (DOJ) is likely “to sue Texas” over the seizure of the city park.
Both Biden’s and Abbott’s administrations have filed pending suits against each other. As Melugin and FOX’s Adam Shaw reported:
the Biden administration has sued Texas over a recently signed anti-illegal immigration law that allows state and local law enforcement to arrest illegal immigrants, which the administration says interferes with the federal government’s authority and frustrates the U.S. immigration operations and proceedings, and hurts relations with foreign governments.
Texas, meanwhile, has sued the administration for cutting and destroying razor wire set up by Texas to stop illegal crossings. That wire has been set up in areas very near to Shelby Park. The lawsuit is ongoing and could soon be before the Supreme Court.