DOJ Supreme Court Filing Reveals Details Inconsistent with DHS Narrative Blaming Texas for Migrant Drownings

CBP Help
by Gelet Martínez Fragela


A new Supreme Court filing by the Department of Justice (DOJ) raises new questions that could help exonerate the Texas Military Department after the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) English) accuse the state agency of allowing the deaths of three migrants who drowned in Shelby Park last week.

Both the White House and Biden’s Department of Homeland Security blamed state officials after three migrants, including two children, drowned in the Shelby Park area.

DHS accused Texas troops of preventing Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials from participating in rescue operations, but the DOJ filing offers key new insights into the timing of the rescue operations. events, which suggest that the tragic drownings occurred an hour before CBP received notification of the incident from Mexican officials.

Texas took control of Shelby Park after Austin accused U.S. authorities of failing to ensure border security, and the Biden administration has since accused the Texas Military Department of obstructing access to Border Patrol agents.

Washington and Austin traded barbs for several days over Gov. Greg Abbott’s decision to secure the area, arguing that Texas was violating the preemption doctrine, which prohibits states from supplanting decisions reserved for the federal government in legal areas such as immigration.

After the drowning in the Shelby Park area, the debate quickly led to a crossroads of accusations: federal officials accused Texas of hindering the work of Border Patrol agents.

According to them, CBP was prevented from saving the drowning migrants, even after Mexican authorities notified them of the incident.

“On Friday night, a woman and two children drowned near Eagle Pass, and Texas authorities prevented the US Border Patrol from attempting to provide emergency assistance. As we continue to gather data on the circumstances of these tragic deaths, one thing is clear: Governor Abbott’s political maneuvers are cruel, inhumane and dangerous. Border Patrol must have access to the border to enforce our laws,” the White House originally explained in a statement released Saturday night.

The Department of Homeland Security also targeted officials in the Lone Star State.

“Tragically, a woman and two children drowned last night in the Shelby Park area of ​​Eagle Pass, which was seized by the State of Texas earlier this week,” DHS said in a statement issued Saturday night. “Responding to a call for help from the Mexican government, Texas officials physically prohibited Border Patrol agents from entering the area.”

The DHS statement also lashed out at Texas Gov. Greg Abbott for violating preemption doctrine and called the lone state’s governor “cruel, dangerous and inhumane,” insisting that “Texas’ blatant disregard for law enforcement federal immigration policy poses serious risks.”

The Department of Homeland Security also reprimanded Texas officials, accusing them of unconstitutionally violating the Constitution in their occupation of Shelby Park.

“Texas’ actions are clearly unconstitutional and are actively disrupting the operations of the federal government,” DHS General Counsel Jonathan Meyer wrote to Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton.

“We demand that Texas cease and desist its efforts to block Border Patrol access in and around the Shelby Park area and remove all access barriers in the Shelby Park area.”

While the question of legality remains in dispute, the new Justice Department filing reveals details that contradict the DHS narrative by suggesting that the migrants could have met their tragic end an hour before Mexican officials notified CBP of what was happening.

According to the DOJ’s filing with the Supreme Court, Mexican authorities informed the US Border Patrol about the incident at 9:00 pm local time, one hour after the three migrants drowned.

The confusion may have been because at 9:00 pm there were still two other immigrants “in distress” on the Texan side of the border, both of whom were suffering from hypothermia.

Fortunately, those migrants were saved by Mexican agents.

The filing echoes the White House’s claim that the U.S. Border Patrol was not prohibited from entering the area “even in emergency situations, and Justice Department lawyers say the U.S. agency could have located those migrants if they had had access”.

“At a minimum, the Border Patrol would have had the opportunity to take all available measures to fulfill its responsibilities and assist its counterparts in the Mexican government with the conduct of the rescue mission. Texas made this impossible,” the Department of Justice wrote. Justice.

Texas lawyers reject that claim, saying the Lone Star State has never denied the United States the opportunity to rescue migrants in dangerous or life-threatening situations.

“Claims that [the Texas Military Department] prevented Border Patrol from saving the lives of drowning migrants are completely inaccurate. By the time Border Patrol requested access, the drownings had occurred, authorities Mexican authorities were recovering the bodies, and Border Patrol expressed these facts to TMD personnel at the scene,” Austin officials said in a statement.

For its part, the Texas Military Department has also denied the DHS accusations, saying that they were in “direct communication” with the Border Patrol on January 12 and that, when CBP arrived, Mexican officials had already saved the others. two migrants.

“Border Patrol specifically requested access to the park to secure two additional migrants who were presumed to have traveled with the deceased, although they had crossed onto the ship’s ramp,” the statement said.

“TMD detained two migrants, one of whom was turned over to the Department of Public Safety (DPS) and the other was transferred to Emergency Medical Services (EMS) in response to the initial conditions of hypothermia. Additionally, TMD remained engaged with lights, night vision goggles and thermals to ensure there were no additional migrants in the river or in danger.”

Governor Abbott also criticized the narrative, blaming Washington and some media outlets for being “so eager to point fingers at Texas for the drowning of migrants, that they forgot to get the facts.”

“By the time [Border Patrol] requested access to [the] river, the drownings had already occurred and been found in [Mexico],” he wrote. “The fact is that the deaths are [because of] Biden’s Open Border magnet.”

ADN reported on Jan. 12 that armed National Guardsmen took control of the Shelby Park area last week as a result of the massive influx of illegal border crossings there.

“The Texas National Guard has maintained a security checkpoint and temporary barrier presence in Shelby Park since 2021. The current posture is to prepare for future waves of illegal immigrants and restrict access to organizations that perpetuate illegal immigrant crossings in the park and the greater Eagle Pass area,” the Texas Military Department told Fox News.

That same day, the city of Eagle Pass reported that Texas state authorities had taken control of the Shelby Park area, adjacent to the Rio Grande River, the waterway that divides the United States from Mexico.

“Texas will continue to deploy Texas National Guard soldiers, DPS police and more barriers, using all tools and strategies to respond to President Biden’s ongoing border crisis,” Texas spokeswoman Renae Eze told the New York Post. .

Abbott has been criticized by liberals and celebrated by conservatives for taking innovative and unilateral steps near the border.

In December, the Lone Star State made illegal entry a punishable offense, empowering law enforcement to detain illegal border crossers and giving judges the right to issue a deportation order.

Abbott’s unilateral actions have raised concerns among legal hawks, who argue that no state is empowered to take over from the federal government on immigration under the preemption doctrine.

Last year ADN reported  that Texas had entered into a dispute with the United States after the creation of a floating barrier on the Rio Grande.

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Gelet Martínez Fragela is the founder and editor-in-chief of ADN America. She is a Cuban journalist, television producer, and political refugee who founded ADN Cuba.





Reprinted with permission from ADN America.

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