There is a story that is in dispute. It pits Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-TX) and the Border Patrol against the Texas National Guard.
It’s been reported that there is growing friction between the Texas National Guard and Border Patrol agents as the two agencies often bump up against each other in protecting the Texas border. Governor Abbott recently seized some property in Eagle Pass in order to shut down a large staging area used by illegal immigrants. He has issued orders on where Border Patrol agents can and cannot provide assistance to illegal immigrants.
A woman and two children drowned in the Rio Grande River on Friday night. Border Patrol agents and DHS blame the Texas National Guard for not allowing them to rescue the illegal immigrants. DHS said in a statement that the Border Patrol agents were made aware of the people in distress by the Mexican government. The agents were not able to enter that area after Texas National Guard troops refused to let them do so. The Texas National Guard is under the direction of the Texas Military Department, that answers to Governor Abbott.
“In responding to a distress call from the Mexican government, Border Patrol agents were physically barred by Texas officials from entering the area,” the spokesperson said.
Rep. Henry Cuellar represents the area. He waded into the story on Saturday. Cuellar said that the three who drowned were a part of a group of six who were crossing the river.
“Border Patrol attempted to contact the Texas Military Department, the Texas National Guard, and DPS Command Post by telephone to relay the information, but were unsuccessful,” Cuellar said in the statement.
He continued: “Border Patrol agents then made physical contact with the Texas Military Department and the Texas National Guard at the Shelby Park Entrance Gate and verbally relayed the information. However, Texas Military Department soldiers stated they would not grant access to the migrants — even in the event of an emergency — and that they would send a soldier to investigate the situation.”
See below my statement on the recent death of three migrants – a female adult and two children – near Shelby Park in Eagle Pass ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/0Fz878fnDg
— Rep. Henry Cuellar (@RepCuellar) January 13, 2024
Mexican sources say that the three migrants recovered today were a family. The female adult was identified as the mother of both children, an 8 year old girl and a 10 year old boy.
— Rep. Henry Cuellar (@RepCuellar) January 14, 2024
The Texas Military Department released its own statement disputing this story. It said that its personnel were notified of people in distress but could not find any illegal immigrants who needed assistance in the Rio Grande River. The department was later made aware of an incident nearby on the Mexican side of the river. The department’s help was not needed. The Texas Military Department said it had been in touch with Border Patrol Friday night and Border Patrol said Mexican authorities did not need Texas Military Department’s assistance.
“At no time did TMD security personnel along the river observe any distressed migrants, nor did TMD turn back any illegal immigrants from the US during this period,” it said.
This sounds like the two law enforcement agencies in charge of protecting the Texas border are pointing fingers at each other when the drownings happened on the Mexican side of the river. I would say it is much ado about nothing but three people drowned, two of them children, so it warrants attention.
The White House jumped in and did the usual – it called Governor Abbott names and blamed him.
In a statement to NBC News White House Correspondent Allie Raffa, a White House spokesperson said one thing is “clear” about Saturday night’s incident: “Governor Abbott’s political stunts are cruel inhumane and dangerous.”
The statement continued: “U.S. Border Patrol must have access to the border to enforce our laws.”
What laws does the spokesperson think that the Biden administration is enforcing along the southern border? Blaming Governor Abbott for the deaths of illegal immigrants is rich. Biden’s open border policies encourage them to try to cross the Rio Grande River. If they tried to enter the United States at a legal port of entry – like the one nearby in Eagle Pass, they would not drown. Their first action is to try to come into our country illegally.
This will continue to happen. Illegals drown in the river, that is a fact. Border Patrol agents have saved many who were in danger of drowning. The river’s current does not look as strong as it is. Governor Abbott believes he has a constitutional right to protect the state. He is doing all he can to do that. The Biden border crisis has moved to catastrophe status. Immigration is now a top issue with voters and Biden is viewed as a failed president. Instead of pointing fingers and name calling, Biden should reverse the policies he has put in place that allow the border to remain open. He should use the previous administration’s enforcement of securing the southern border as a template instead of trying to prove how anti-Trump he is. We know.
After I finished writing this, a little more info came through. Looks like the people had already drowned when Border Patrol requested access. Mexican officials were recovering the bodies. Boy, oh, boy.
UPDATE: “Claims that TMD prevented Border Patrol from saving the lives of drowning migrants are wholly inaccurate. At the time that Border Patrol requested access, the drownings had occurred, Mexican authorities were recovering the bodies, and Border Patrol expressed these facts… pic.twitter.com/hxBfd5GkT7
— Ali Bradley (@AliBradleyTV) January 15, 2024