EAGLE PASS, Texas—The clothing strewn across the riverbank gives away that Shelby Park on the Rio Grande was a major crossing point for illegal aliens not long ago. But since Texas National Guard assumed control of the park, the crossings have nearly stopped entirely, according to authorities.
The Daily Signal visited Shelby Park in Eagle Pass, Texas, Thursday and spoke with members of the National Guard. The military officials said the illegal crossings have ground to a near halt since early January when National Guard took over operations at the park, which sits on the border of Mexico.
The narrow and shallow water of the Rio Grande on the edge of Shelby Park makes the site an appealing crossing point. Border Patrol used the wide-open space of the park as a holding location for the illegal aliens after they crossed the river.
Texas National Guard is preventing Border Patrol from processing illegal aliens in the parks and has instead laid concertina wire fencing along the riverbank and built a 4,500-foot border wall using shipping containers topped with sharp razor wire.
The Biden administration has requested Texas again grant federal authorities full access to park, but last week, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton denied the request in a letter to the Department of Homeland Security.
“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,” Paxton wrote.
Border Patrol agents still have access to the boat ramp in Shelby Park and use the ramp multiple times a day, according to National Guardsmen stationed at the park. Border Patrol use air boats to patrol the often shallow waters of the Rio Grande.
Asked about the relationship on the ground between National Guardsmen and Border Patrol agents, the National Guardsman escorting The Daily Signal through the park said the relations are fine, and stressed that all the men and women serving at the border are just trying to do the job they have been commissioned to do.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and the Biden administration are currently engaged in a legal battle over border security and fencing along the Rio Grande. The conflict drew significant attention at the end of January when the Supreme Court issued an order that clears the way for Border Patrol agents and other federal authorities to cut and remove the razor wire installed by the Texas National Guard along the state’s border with Mexico.
Since the Supreme Court issued its order, 25 Republican governors issued a joint statement declaring, “We stand in solidarity with our fellow Governor, Greg Abbott, and the State of Texas in utilizing every tool and strategy, including razor wire fences, to secure the border.”
At least 15 Republican governors are holding a press conference in Shelby Park Sunday in support of Abbott’s efforts to secure Texas’ border with Mexico.
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