Biden admin demands Texas give Border Patrol access to key park at center of border dispute

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The Biden administration is ratcheting up demands for Texas to grant Border Patrol officials access to a key park at the center of a border dispute. 

Texas seized control of the riverfront park earlier this month and began denying entry to Border Patrol agents, escalating a feud between Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and President Joe Biden’s administration, 

The Republican governor has repeatedly slammed the Biden administration for not doing enough to stem the tide of illegal border crossings – which hit more than 300,000 nationwide last month. 

Razor wire is seen on the banks of the Rio Grande at Shelby Park on January 12, 2024 in Eagle Pass, Texas.  (Brandon Bell/Getty Images)

On Tuesday, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) sent the state a letter addressed to Attorney General Ken Paxton, demanding access to Shelby Park, which is next to the Rio Grande.

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“To our knowledge, Texas has only permitted access to Shelby Park by allowing public entry for a memorial, the media, and use of the golf course adjacent to Shelby Park, all while continuing to restrict U.S. Border Patrol’s access to the park,” the letter read.

It gave Texas until Friday to respond. 

The letter followed the Supreme Court’s decision on Monday that effectively sided with the Biden administration in giving Border Patrol the okay to start removing razor wire installed near Eagle Pass to keep out migrants. 

eagle pass, texas

EAGLE PASS, TEXAS – JANUARY 12: A National Guard soldier stands guard on the banks of the Rio Grande river at Shelby Park on January 12, 2024, in Eagle Pass, Texas.  (Brandon Bell/Getty Images)

Texas has installed rows of razor wire in Shelby Park and said more was being added after the Supreme Court’s decision. 

Though not addressing the park, Abbott has struck a defiant tone, writing in a lengthy statement that the Biden administration had “broken the compact between the United States and States.” 

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“The Executive Branch of the United States has a constitutional duty to enforce federal laws protecting States, including immigration law on the books right now,” he said. “President Biden has refused to enforce those laws and has even violated them. The result is that he has smashed records for illegal immigrants.” 

Texas troopers and National Guard members have kept a large presence at Shelby Park since last summer, when thousands of migrants were crossing illegally crossing from Mexico. 

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Texas told the Supreme Court the park was reopened to the public days after they shut it down, but the federal government expressed skepticism in its letter. The Biden administration requested access to the park, an area underneath a port of entry and a boat ramp.

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