Texas takes over public park in Eagle Pass

The City of Eagle Pass issued a statement Thursday revealing that city property along the Rio Grande had been seized by the State of Texas by order of Gov. Greg Abbott as part of a border security effort under Operation Lone Star.

Shelby Park, which includes some 47 acres, and other riverfront city property was reported as being subject to the seizure.

News Nation reported that Abbott’s seizure included equipment belonging to the U.S. Border Patrol. Agents of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the parent organization of the Border Patrol, would only be allowed to enter the park to pick up the equipment or for medical emergencies.

There is an ongoing contest between the State of Texas and the Biden administration over the state’s placement of concertina wire in the area of Eagle Pass. In December, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals scrapped a lower court’s order that allowed federal Border Patrol agents to destroy the wire, but the Department of Homeland Security has appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn the 5th Circuit’s decision.

With the property under state control, Texas law enforcement intends to begin charging anyone who crosses the border illegally to enter the restricted area with criminal trespass, an existing statute under state law.

Brent Smith, the county attorney for nearby Kinney County, reacted to the news on social media and applauded Abbott’s actions.

“Texas will not ask permission to safeguard its own citizens when the federal government refuses to do so. I applaud the governor's actions, and pray that he holds the line,” Smith wrote.

Eagle Pass officials also stated they played no role in Abbott’s decision and were simply informed by the Texas Department of Public Safety of the move. Their statement added the city attorney would be looking into the legality of the seizure.

Last September, Eagle Pass Mayor Rolando Salinas, Jr. issued an emergency declaration after thousands of illegal immigrants crowded under the international bridge there.

For now, Shelby Park remains closed to the public, with only state officials and law enforcement being allowed to enter.

Dan Butcher

Dan Butcher (aka HP Pundit) is not a Democrat or Republican. He is a free thinking independent bringing you news and commentary with a dose of much needed common sense.

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