Texas National Guard takes control of Shelby Park and blocks Border Patrol access

A statement from the state Military Department reported that it is a way to "prepare for future waves of illegal immigrants" and they have singled out federal agents for "perpetuating illegal crossings."

The Texas National Guard has taken control of Shelby Park, located in Eagle Pass, and blocked Border Patrol access to the area. The park, nearly 50 acres in size, is situated on the banks of the Rio Grande and is considered a key border point due to the massive scale of illegal crossings there.

In a statement from the Texas Military Department - obtained by Fox journalist Bill Melugin - and confirmed by the state governor, Greg Abbott, state authorities assure that the Federal agents "perpetuate illegal crossings" and allege that the decision to take control of the park is a way to "prepare for future waves of illegal immigrants":

This is the area where Border Patrol has been cutting the TX barbed wire. Barbed wire and fencing are now deployed to block the area from the public and the federal government. The Texas National Guard has maintained a security checkpoint and temporary barrier presence in Shelby Park since 2021. The current position is to prepare for future waves of illegal immigrants and restrict access to organizations that perpetuate illegal immigrant crossings into the park and the greater Eagle Pass area.

Governor Abbott's spokeswoman, Renae Eze, told the New York Post that the state "will continue to deploy Texas National Guard soldiers, DPS officers and more barriers, using all tools and strategies to respond to President Biden's ongoing border crisis."

DOJ responds

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued a supplemental memorandum confirming that the Texas National Guard "has deployed armed soldiers and vehicles to block federal government access to the river." They were also informed that no federal agents will be able to access Shelby Park "in any operational capacity."

DHS petitioned the Supreme Court to "urgently overturn the measure."

Mayor of Eagle Pass: "This is not something we wanted"

Eagle Pass authorities posted a statement on the city's Facebook account reporting that Mayor Rolando Salinas "was notified by the Texas Department of Public Safety that the State was taking control of Shelby Park."

Later Salinas, held a press conference in which he rejected the measure taken by the state authorities and assures that it was a decision made by the Abbott Administration without consulting him: "That is not a decision we agreed to. This is not something we wanted. This is not something we asked for as a city, I want to make it clear."

The mayor also assured that the taking of the park will be "an issue that will be litigated between the federal government and the state governments." Additionally, he revealed that city officials are seeking legal options to regain control of the area.

Border Patrol union backs Abbott

The Border Patrol Union endorsed the action taken by the state of Texas stating that it "is not harming Border Patrol operations, but rather improving them. Their takeover of Shelby Park allows our agents to deploy to problem locations that experience high numbers of escapes." "Abbott's actions should be viewed as a force multiplier."