Texas Begins Arresting, Charging Illegal Immigrants In Eagle Pass As Border Feud With Biden Admin Intensifies

Texas authorities began arresting illegal immigrants at Shelby Park in Eagle Pass on Wednesday after the state’s attorney general defied a cease-and-desist letter sent by the Biden administration demanding officials stop blocking U.S. Border Patrol agents from the site.

The arrests were announced by Lt. Chris Olivarez at the Texas Department of Public Safety on X, formerly Twitter.

Mr. Olivarez said single adult migrant men and women were taken into state custody and charged with criminal trespassing under Governor Greg Abbott’s new state law, which allows police to arrest and charge people suspected of entering the country illegally.

That measure was passed in December and is set to go into effect in March but is currently subject to a legal challenge by the Justice Department.

“Under the authority of Gov.@GregAbbott_TX’s Border Disaster Declaration, @TxDPS Troopers are arresting illegal immigrants for criminal trespass at #ShelbyPark in Eagle Pass,” he wrote.

“Troopers are enforcing criminal trespass on adult men & women. The State of Texas will maintain a proactive posture in curbing illegal border crossings between the ports of entry,” Mr. Olivarez added.

The Texas official also shared photos and video footage alongside the post, showing officers searching and handcuffing multiple illegal aliens before leading them into police vehicles.

Typically, illegal immigrants who enter the United States may surrender to border patrol agents and seek asylum.

Biden Admin Issues Warning

It is not immediately clear how many arrests were made by Texas officials.

However, the detentions mark the first of their kind since Texas state authorities earlier this month took control of Shelby Park, a roughly 2.5-mile portion of the U.S.-Mexico border that serves as a hotbed for illegal immigration, in an effort to combat unprecedented illegal border crossings.

Wednesday’s arrests are likely to increase ongoing tensions between Texas officials and the Biden administration after the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) demanded state authorities stop “barring” federal Border Patrol agents from accessing the area, which is located next to the Rio Grande.

The federal government claims that Texas has “impeded operations of Border Patrol” along the area in “conflict with the authority and duties of Border Patrol under federal law” and preempted under the Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution.

In a cease-and-desist letter sent to Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton on Jan. 14, DHS general counsel Jonathan Meyer further accused Texas of having failed to allow border agents access to the area “even in instances of imminent danger to life and safety.”

‘Facts and Law Side With Texas’

Mr. Meyer cited an incident on Jan. 12 when a woman and two children drowned in the Rio Grande. DHS has claimed the three died after Border Patrol agents “were physically barred by Texas officials from entering the area,” while the White House has used the incident to further take aim at Mr. Abbott’s policies.

However, the Texas Military Department has provided a different account following a thorough review of the circumstances surrounding the drownings, stating that Border Patrol agents requested access to the area after the drownings occurred while Mexican authorities were already recovering the bodies.

National Guard soldiers stand guard on the banks of the Rio Grande River at Shelby Park in Eagle Pass, Texas, on Jan. 12, 2024. (Brandon Bell/Getty Images)

Despite the differing statement from the Texas Military Department, DHS gave Texas until Wednesday to stop “barring” Border Patrol’s access to the area and threatened to refer the matter to the Department of Justice for “appropriate action” if state officials failed to do so.

Mr. Paxton responded to the DHS cease and desist request on Wednesday by defending the actions of Texas authorities.

“Because the facts and law side with Texas, the State will continue utilizing its constitutional authority to defend her territory, and I will continue defending those lawful efforts in court,” Mr. Paxton wrote.

The Texas Republican also called the White House’s attempts to blame Texas for the death of the three illegal immigrants “vile” and “completely inaccurate.”

“Instead of running to the U.S. Department of Justice in hopes of winning an injunction, you should advise your clients at DHS to do their job and follow the law,” Mr. Paxton wrote.

Authored by Katabella Roberts via The Epoch Times,

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