Texas National Guard begins arresting migrants along US-Mexico border

Texas is ignoring orders from the Biden administration and preventing Border Patrol agents from accessing a stretch of land near Eagle Pass, Texas.
Posted at 9:14 AM, Jan 18, 2024

The battle over whether individual states can take matters into their own hands when it comes to border security is now centered on a park in south Texas.

Members of the Texas National Guard have taken over the area and are refusing orders from the Biden administration to allow U.S. border agents in. Texas troopers have begun arresting migrants for the first time since taking control of Shelby Park near the town of Eagle Pass, Texas.

US border crossings by migrant families hits record high
Migrants climb over concertina wire after they crossed the Rio Grande and entered the U.S. from Mexico.

US border crossings by migrant families hits record high

The southwest border saw 2.2 million migrant encounters this fiscal year, closing in on last year's 2.4 million.


Texas Department of Public Safety spokesman Chris Olivarez posted videos and images on social media Wednesday night showing migrants being handcuffed and hauled off. 

"Troopers are arresting illegal immigrants for criminal trespass at Shelby Park in Eagle Pass," he said. "Troopers are enforcing criminal trespass on single adult men & women. The State of Texas will maintain a proactive posture in curbing illegal border crossings between the ports of entry." 

Olivarez added that the arrests were being made on private land and that the landowner granted the state authority to intervene. 

This comes on the heels of the Biden administration informing state officials that they had until the end of the day Wednesday to stop blocking U.S. Border Patrol agents' access to a stretch of land that's about 2.5 miles long. It includes the area near Shelby Park, where a woman and two children recently drowned while trying to cross the Rio Grande into the U.S. 

Justice Department goes to the Supreme Court over Texas border closure
Texas troopers stand near concertina wire along the banks of the Rio Grande in Texas

Justice Department goes to the Supreme Court over Texas border closure

Texas state troopers on Thursday fenced off a public park in Eagle Pass, prompting the new filing from the Justice Department.


The Biden administration ordered an immediate cease and desist, maintaining that border enforcement should be the job of the federal government. The government has also filed an injunction seeking to have the Supreme Court rule on the issue.  

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton fired back in a letter to the Department of Homeland Security, saying the state plans to continue ignoring federal orders.  

"I will continue to stand up for this State’s constitutional powers of self-defense," Paxton said. "Instead of running to the U.S. Department of Justice in hopes of winning an injunction, you should advise your clients at DHS to do their job and follow the law."

The state has since put a fence up with National Guard members preventing Border Patrol agents from entering the area.