Ken Paxton Holds the Line in Eagle Pass

In response to a demand letter from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) regarding the State of Texas taking control of publicly-held land in Eagle Pass and refusing entry to Border Patrol agents, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton issued a letter contesting the facts put forth by the federal government and the underlying law regarding the state’s authority to secure its border with Mexico.

In the introduction to his letter, Paxton stated, “Because the facts and law side with Texas, the State will continue utilizing its constitutional authority to defend her territory, and I will continue defending those lawful efforts in court. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) should stop wasting scarce time and resources suing Texas, and start enforcing the immigration laws Congress already has on the books.”

Jonathan Meyer, the General Counsel for DHS, stated in the demand letter that “Texas cease and desist its efforts to block Border Patrol’s access in and around the Shelby Park area and remove all barriers to access in the Shelby Park area.” He also cited the recent news story involving three Mexican nationals who drowned in the Rio Grande while attempting to enter the United States illegally.

Meyer claimed that the Texas Military Department (TMD) denying access to DHS officials led to these drownings, despite later reports from Border Patrol that the drownings had already taken place by the time they were notified of an incident, and the individuals were found by Mexican officials on the Mexican side of the river. Paxton disputed this claim in the strongest of terms, stating, “[T]hat tragedy is your fault. Contrary to your letter, TMD did not prevent U.S. Border Patrol from entering Shelby Park to attempt a water rescue of migrants in distress.”

Justifying the State of Texas’ actions to secure Shelby Park and the surrounding areas, which have seen tens of thousands of illegal border crossings since January of 2021, Paxton stated that the federal government had abdicated its duty to the states under Article IV, Section 4 of the U.S. Constitution and that their lack of enforcement action consistent with federal law barred any legitimate preemption claim. He went on further to say that the state has the power to repel invasions pursuant to Article I, Section 10, Clause 3 of the U.S. Constitution, which states:

“No State shall, without the Consent of Congress, lay any Duty of Tonnage, keep Troops, or Ships of War in time of Peace, enter into any Agreement or Compact with another State, or with a foreign Power, or engage in War, unless actually invaded, or in such imminent Danger as will not admit of delay.”

Since our formation in 2022, Texans for Strong Borders has called upon the State of Texas to invoke its constitutional authority to defend its citizens against the invasion at the Texas Border, and we applaud the recent actions of Governor Abbott and the strong response issued by Attorney General Paxton. Recent footage has revealed that illegal aliens attempting to cross in this area are being arrested for criminal trespass:

Governor Abbott can, and should, go even further with his efforts to repel the invasion at our border. Using his powers to repel invasions in the U.S. and Texas Constitutions, he should continue to physically repel illegal border crossings, and instead of arresting for criminal trespass, should return apprehended illegal aliens directly to Mexico. These powers were acknowledged in the proposed Border Protection Unit Act (HB 20) by Rep. Matt Schaefer (R-Tyler), which reached the floor of the Texas House before being killed on a spurious Point of Order raised by Rep. Rafael Anchia (D-Dallas) and sustained by Speaker Dade Phelan (R-Beaumont).

Attorney General Paxton continues to show his commitment to fighting the Biden Administration as it seeks to fundamentally undermine our nation’s security by ignoring federal immigration law and propping up bogus federal parole schemes with no basis in statute.

Read Attorney General Ken Paxton’s Letter in Full:

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