Texas AG Ken Paxton Doubles Down On Refusal Of Surrendering Border To Biden: Press Release

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Hailey Gomez General Assignment Reporter
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Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton refused Friday to abide by President Joe Biden’s demands requesting the state surrender Shelby Park, issuing counter-demands instead, according to a press release.

Paxton released a press statement in response to a letter sent by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) that demanded Texas officials step away from the border and hand over Shelby Park to agents. Paxton, however, is not only refusing to give the border area to DHS in, but is demanding that federal officials supply “plat maps and deeds demonstrating the precise parcels they claim ownership over,” according to the release. (RELATED: Feds See Highest Ever Number Of Southern Border Crossings In A Single Month)

“Today, Attorney General Paxton has denied the Biden Administration’s unfounded requests and issued counter-demands. By February 15, DHS must supply the official plat maps and deeds demonstrating the precise parcels to which they claim ownership, an explanation of how Texas is preventing access to those specific parcels, documentation showing that Eagle Pass or Texas ever granted permission for DHS to erect infrastructure that interferes with border security, and proof of Congress empowering DHS to turn a Texas park into an unofficial and illegal port of entry. If the federal government is going to make such claims, it must provide proof,” the press release stated. 

The Biden administration and Texas officials have had an ongoing legal battle over control of the southern border, with issues escalating following the U.S. Supreme Court ruling on Monday. Justices on the court ruled that the Biden administration would be allowed to tear down razor wire put up on the border by the state. (RELATED: Turley Explains Which Party Has ‘Upper Hand’ In Texas-Biden Showdown. It Comes Down To One Word)

Texas officials had argued to the justices that the razor wire was in place to slow the pace of illegal immigrants coming into the state as the border had been overwhelmed with record breaking numbers of crossings. The DHS, however, had claimed the wire was preventing Border Patrol agents from performing their duties. 

Following the ruling, the Texas Department of Public Safety additionally seized control of Shelby Park in Eagle Pass, Texas, a property along the southern border which has also seen an increase in illegal immigrants, according to a statement posted Thursday on Facebook by Eagle Pass Mayor Rolando Salinas.  

Since SCOTUS’ decision, Texas has refused to give back the park or have state officials step down from their duties in securing the border. A wave of GOP governors backed the state after Texas Republican Gov. Greg Abbott released a statement Wednesday pushing back on the Biden administration, emphasizing that Texas has a “constitutional right to self-defense.”

While Biden faces pressure from Democrats to federalize the National Guard in order to seize the border from the state, Paxton and other state officials have continued to sound off on Texas’ “efforts” to protect its own border. 

Presumably because you have no meaningful response to our letter, your latest letter abandons earlier factual assertions, asserts new one[s], and supplies even less of a legal basis for your demand. Once again, I respectfully suggest that any time you might spend suing Texas should be redirected toward enforcing the immigration laws Congress already has on the books,” Paxton informed DHS, according to the press release. 

“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,” the attorney general added in his response, the press release said.