Charlotte Tyler
January 13, 2024

After Texas seizes border areas, blocks Border Patrol from entering, DOJ renews SCOTUS push

After Texas officials dramatically seized a park near the border and subsequently obstructed the Border Patrol's entry, the Department of Justice has redoubled its efforts to compel the U.S. Supreme Court to intervene in an ongoing legal dispute between the federal government and Lone Star state..

"Texas’s new actions since the government’s filing demonstrate an escalation of the State’s measures to block Border Patrol’s ability to patrol or even to surveil the border and be in a position to respond to emergencies," the DOJ told the high court in an overnight supplemental filing on Friday, as Fox News reported.

Shelby Park was cordoned off by the Texas National Guard in Eagle Pass, Texas, which also erected fences and razor wire.

During the three-year border crisis, Eagle Pass has been one of the busiest points for migrant crossings, and Shelby Park has been a crucial processing staging area for the state's tremendous migrant influxes.

Official Statement

The Texas Military Department said in a statement that it has maintained a presence in the park, including temporary barriers and security points, 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," it said.

Later, senior sources for Customs and Border Protection (CBP) verified that two areas of operation in Eagle Pass are blocked to the Border Patrol and that agents withdrew resources to prevent a confrontation.

The DOJ states in the overnight filing that Border Patrol became aware of the newly constructed barriers late on Wednesday. The barriers, according to the DOJ, impede Border Patrol's access to certain regions of the Rio Grande River.

"It also includes the staging area that Border Patrol has used to evaluate and begin inspecting migrants that it has apprehended along this stretch of the border," the administration said.

According to the government, Border Patrol was denied access to the staging area and a watercraft ramp despite their request for such access.

Ongoing Investigation

An ongoing dispute between the administration and Texas over the installation of razor wire along the southern boundary to prevent illegal border crossings is exacerbated by this action.

In response to an appeals court's recent prohibition of the Biden administration from severing or damaging the wire, the administration petitioned the Supreme Court for intervention. According to the administration, the wire was impeding agents' ability to apprehend migrants and gain access to certain sections of the frontier.

The DOJ, in its most recent filing as part of the case, cites Texas's prior assertions that agents could reach the border by road or boat without severing the wire, and states that the lone operationally viable and secure boat ramp was obstructed.

"Because Border Patrol can no longer access or view this stretch of the border, Texas has effectively prevented Border Patrol from monitoring the border to determine whether a migrant requires the emergency aid that the court of appeals expressly excepted from the injunction," it argues.

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