Border Patrol Prevented From Helping Drowning Migrants

( – The nearly three-year crisis at the southern border of the United States has resulted in record numbers of migrant deaths. Many are the result of drowning while attempting to cross the Rio Grande, which is at the center of the conflict between the Biden administration and the state of Texas. On January 10, Texas Republican Governor Greg Abbott ordered the seizure of Shelby Park in Eagle Pass, which is a highly trafficked area by illegal migrants. The state’s Department of Public Safety (DPS) immediately installed fences to prevent citizens and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) from entering the area. The Texas National Guard has since begun patrolling the park, which was recently used by CBP to hold border crossers.

Efforts were already underway by the Biden administration to force Texas to reverse course when an illegal migrant woman and her two children drowned while trying to cross the dangerous river during the night on January 12. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) immediately blamed Texas authorities for the tragedy, claiming that CBP agents were “physically barred” from trying to rescue drowning migrants. The bodies of the migrants were pulled from the river by Mexican authorities on Saturday. Democratic Texas Representative Henry Cuellar made similar claims in a statement released on X, formerly Twitter. However, he was met with instant pushback from users for ignoring Texas officials’ account of the tragedy.

The Texas Military Department (TMD) released a statement denying the accusations from DHS. According to the TMD, the migrants had already drowned, and the bodies were already being recovered on the Mexican side of the border when CBP requested access. The statement also said that border patrol agents on site acknowledged that the drowning had already occurred. On January 15, DHS sent a cease-and-desist letter to the Texas National Guard, threatening to escalate the matter to the Department of Justice and “consider all other options available” to allow CBP border access.

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