On Wednesday, Eagle Pass Mayor Rolando Salinas received notification from the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) regarding an emergency order issued by Republican Governor Greg Abbott, which grants DPS officers control over Shelby Park.
Spanning 47 acres and situated adjacent to a section of the Rio Grande River, this measure aims to prevent illegal crossings into the United States. DPS will exercise full authority over the area for an unspecified duration.
“All access to the property is limited to state authority only. Border Patrol will be permitted to enter the property to remove their equipment and supplies—Agents will not have access to the area unless there is a medical emergency.” – NewsNation reporter Ali Brady said.
The Texas Department of Public Safety has closed and taken over a park in Eagle Pass on the banks of the Rio Grande against the wishes of city officials, Eagle Pass Mayor Rolando Salinas said Thursday.
In a video posted on Facebook, Salinas said he received a call from DPS officials on Wednesday to let him know that Gov. Greg Abbott had signed an emergency declaration and that officers would take “full control” of 47-acre Shelby Park indefinitely.
“That is not a decision that we agreed to. This is not something that we wanted. This is not something that we asked for as a city,” Salinas said in the video.
Salinas said he was told that the reason for the operation is to prevent immigrants from illegally crossing the Rio Grande into Texas.
“I am told that the state plans to start arresting all who cross for criminal trespass—This is not under the new illegal entry law #SB4– They have been arresting for criminal trespass for months.” Ali Bradley said.
#BREAKING The state of Texas has seized all city property along the riverfront at the border in the Eagle Pass area under governors emergency powers, including federal processing locations and equipment—This is according to multiple sources.
All access to the property is… pic.twitter.com/gpwZEFg50b
— Ali Bradley (@AliBradleyTV) January 11, 2024
Since January 2021, an estimated 11 million individuals have entered the United States illegally through the southern border following the installation of Joe Biden as president.
Eagle Pass, located along this border, has experienced particularly high levels of illegal crossings. In November 2023, reports emerged that women and children were being rescued from bodies of water in this area.
During this time, Tactical Marines stationed on the Rio Grande in Eagle Pass, Texas were actively involved in saving the lives of these individuals who were at risk of drowning.
Lieutenant Chris Olivarez, a spokesperson for the Texas Department of Public Safety, shared video footage on X platform showcasing members of the Tactical Marine Unit pulling desperate individuals out of the river.
Among those rescued were panicking children struggling to stay afloat.
In one instance captured on video, a unit member performed life-saving CPR compressions on an individual in an attempt to revive her.
Additionally, some of these individuals were discovered attempting to escape through dry brush in their desperate bid to evade capture.
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