The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is insisting that Texas relinquish control of a border park, previously occupied by the Texas National Guard in an effort to combat illegal immigration.
In a cease-and-desist letter directed to Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, disclosed by NBC News, the DHS asserts that control of Shelby Park in Eagle Pass must be returned to the Border Patrol. Texas, citing increased illegal immigration through Shelby Park, had taken measures to block access to the area for federal agents, contending that federal actions worsened the crisis.
DHS General Counsel Jonathan Meyer, in the letter to Paxton, emphasized that Texas’s recent actions obstruct Border Patrol operations, conflicting with federal law authority and being preempted under the Constitution’s Supremacy Clause. Meyer added that Texas’s actions seek to improperly regulate the federal government.
Despite Texas’s claim of reopening Shelby Park to the public, the letter contends that access remains restricted for Border Patrol. The park’s adjacent port of entry, essential for Border Patrol operations, is allegedly inaccessible due to Texas-imposed barriers, hindering the government’s use of the area.
The DHS has formally requested Texas to remove all barriers impeding access to Shelby Park and to grant the federal government entry. The letter states that the DHS will explore all options to terminate Texas’s control over the area if the state fails to comply with the DHS’s directive.
Furthermore, the letter implies that Texas bears partial responsibility for the death of three migrants attempting to cross the Rio Grande near the park. Allegedly, Texas “refused” to assist the migrants, a claim disputed by the Texas Military Department (TMD). The TMD asserts that their unit, present near the boat ramp, actively searched the river and reported no migrants observed. Additionally, the TMD reported Mexican authorities responding to an incident on the Mexico-side of the river bank, requiring no further assistance.