National Security

Biden’s DHS Demands Texas Authorities Stand Down At Southern Border As Legal Battle Intensifies

Getty Images/John Moore

Daily Caller News Foundation logo
Jennie Taer Investigative Reporter
Font Size:

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) urged Texas authorities in a letter Tuesday to relinquish their control of an area of the southern border that has been the epicenter of an ongoing legal battle.

DHS is demanding that the state allow Border Patrol full access to Shelby Park in Eagle Pass, Texas, in accordance with the law as the state maintains that it’s not backing down from its position, according a copy of the letter obtained by the Daily Caller News Foundation. The Supreme Court ruled Monday that the Biden administration can take down the concertina wire Texas authorities erected to discourage illegal border crossings, but the next day the state began erecting more border wire.

The Biden administration on Jan. 12 accused Texas of blocking border agents from helping save three drowning migrants in the Rio Grande, which the Department of Justice (DOJ) later debunked in court filing admitting that federal authorities didn’t inform state authorities until after the drownings had already occurred.

Law enforcement patrols the edge of Eagle Pass’ Shelby Park, in Eagle Pass, Texas on August 24, 2023. The buoys were installed in the river at a popular migrant crossing point in July on the instructions of conservative Texas Governor Greg Abbott, along with large razor-wire barriers on shore, sparking a rebuke from both Washington and Mexico City. (Photo by SUZANNE CORDEIRO/AFP via Getty Images)

The Biden administration subsequently sent a letter to Attorney General Ken Paxton on Jan. 14, saying that the state needed to give full access of the park to federal authorities by Jan. 17, according to CNN. By Jan. 17, Paxton sent a letter to the Biden administration, saying that the state wouldn’t back down. (RELATED: Border Patrol Agents Quietly Support Texas’ Move To Seize Area Of Border)

“As you are aware, yesterday, the Supreme Court vacated the injunction prohibiting the Department from cutting or moving the concertina wire that Texas had placed along the border except in case of emergency, and restored the Department’s right to cut and move the concertina wire placed by Texas in order to perform their statutory duties. The Department must also have the ability to access the border in the Shelby Park area that is currently obstructed by Texas,” Department of Homeland Security Jonathan E. Meyer wrote to Paxton.

“The State has alleged that Shelby Park is open to the public, but we do not believe this statement is accurate. 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. Please clarify the scope of access Texas permits to the public,” Meyer wrote.

“The State of Texas, under Gov. @GregAbbott_TX’s Operation Lone Star, will maintain its current posture in deterring illegal border crossings by utilizing effective border security measures – reinforced concertina wire & anti-climb barriers along the Rio Grande,” Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) Lt. Chris Olivarez said in a statement on Twitter Monday.

“The logical concern should be why the Federal Government continues to hinder Texas’ ability to protect its border, all while allowing for the exploitation, dangerous, & inhumane methods of permitting illegal immigrants, including children, to illegally cross a dangerous river where many have lost their lives. Texas is the only state using every strategy & resource to protect its sovereignty, combat criminal activity, & discourage illegal immigration. #Texas will continue to hold the line,” Olivarez said.

A spokesperson for Paxton didn’t immediately respond to the DCNF’s request for comment.

All content created by the Daily Caller News Foundation, an independent and nonpartisan newswire service, is available without charge to any legitimate news publisher that can provide a large audience. All republished articles must include our logo, our reporter’s byline and their DCNF affiliation. For any questions about our guidelines or partnering with us, please contact