Three migrants died in Eagle Pass Park after Border Patrol was denied entry, says Rep. Henry Cuellar

Three migrants, including two children, drowned while attempting to enter the United States near the border city of Eagle Pass, where the Biden administration claims Texas has begun restricting access to Border Patrol officials.

Texas Democrat U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar accused the state of failing to act amid rising tensions between Texas and the federal government over immigration enforcement. The Justice Department informed the United States Supreme Court on Friday that Texas had taken control of Shelby Park and was refusing to allow Border Patrol agents to enter.

Three migrants died in Eagle Pass Park after Border Patrol was denied entry, says Rep. Henry Cuellar

The park is located in Eagle Pass, which is a primary crossing point for migrants entering from Mexico and is at the heart of Republican Gov. Greg Abbott’s Operation Lone Star effort to curb illegal crossings. Migrants are killed on a regular basis when they are swept away by Rio Grande currents.

A representative for Abbott forwarded inquiries to the Texas Military Department, which did not respond immediately to an email seeking comment Saturday.

Cuellar, whose district includes the Texas border, said Mexican authorities notified Border Patrol late Friday about the distraught individuals battling in the river. He claimed that federal agents tried unsuccessfully to contact and communicate the information to Texas National Guard men at Shelby Park.

Agents then went to the park’s entrance but were turned away, according to the congressman, who stated that the agents were told a Guard member would be dispatched to examine the incident.

“This is a tragedy, and the State bears responsibility,” said Cuellar, the leading Democrat on the House Appropriations Committee’s Homeland Security subcommittee.

Customs and Border Protection in the United States did not respond immediately.

Three migrants died in Eagle Pass Park after Border Patrol was denied entry, says Rep. Henry Cuellar

The city owns the 50-acre park, but the state Department of Public Safety and the Texas Military Department use it to patrol border crossings. Despite the fact that daily crossings have decreased from thousands to around 500, state authorities last week put up barricades and stationed military vehicles along the entry to limit access to the public and Border Patrol officers, according to a court filing.

Texas filed a response to the court on Saturday, disputing assertions that Border Patrol agents were denied access to the park. They claimed that Border Patrol had reduced its presence since the summer when the state relocated its resources and personnel to the park.

According to the state reaction, federal officers were also permitted entry to the area to secure supplies.

Cuellar stated that there was no immediate information regarding the victims’ nationalities, relationships, or ages.

On Saturday, members of the public gathered at the park to commemorate the deaths of migrants in their area. Julio Vasquez, a pastor in attendance, claimed access was allowed after making multiple requests to the mayor and sharing photos of the entrance still walled up and guarded by National Guard personnel and military vehicles.

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