Texas has once again rejected demands from the Biden administration for “full access” to the Shelby Park area of Eagle Pass amid an ongoing standoff between the federal government and the state.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) had written to Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton this week, seeking unrestricted access to the area, which Gov. Greg Abbott’s administration had taken control of earlier this month.
DHS has been seeking access to the area for some time, with Texas previously agreeing to allow entry to any Border Patrol personnel responding to emergencies. However, DHS wants not only emergency access but also regular access to the port of entry, the boat ramp and border barrier entrances.
The letter from DHS claimed real estate interests in parts of the area, demanding the removal of any obstructions on it. Paxton, in response, dismissed the legal basis for this demand, disputing the federal government’s claim to the areas.
“As I said before, this office will continue to defend Texas’s efforts to protect its southern border against every effort by the Biden Administration to undermine the State’s constitutional right of self-defense. You should advise your clients to join us in those efforts by doing their job and following the law,” Paxton said.
This standoff is part of a broader conflict over border crisis management. The Supreme Court recently sided with the administration, allowing agents to cut border wire set up by Texas. However, Border Patrol currently has “no plans” to remove the wire unless in an emergency.
Abbott has declared that Texas has a right to “self-defense” against what he describes as a migrant “invasion,” while the Biden administration maintains that immigration law enforcement is a federal responsibility. The administration has sued over a Texas law allowing state and local law enforcement to arrest illegal immigrants and has been in a legal feud over Texas’s establishment of buoys in the Rio Grande.
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