The US government has demanded “unrestricted access” to the Mexican border, but Austin is refusing to comply
Sending federal agents to confront the Texas National Guard on the Mexican border would be “the biggest mistake the Biden administration could make,” Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick told Fox News on Thursday. The Department of Homeland Security has demanded access to the border by the end of the day.
The US Supreme Court on Monday ruled that federal agents could begin dismantling a razor wire fence installed by Texas along Eagle Pass, a popular crossing point for illegal immigrants entering the country.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott – who installed the fence in 2021 and stationed national guardsmen along the border to stem what he called an “invasion” – vowed to defy the ruling, arguing that President Joe Biden’s administration has failed to enforce federal immigration law, and that his duty to protect his constituents supersedes any federal laws.
“The biggest mistake the Biden administration could make would be confronting law enforcement or our military, our national guard at our border, when we are actually doing the job that the American people want,” Patrick told Fox News host Laura Ingraham.
“If they come down and create a situation, all of America already knows now [and] they will clearly see that the Democrats are willing to take on a state that is operating under our constitutional right to protect our people and protect this country,” Patrick added.
In a letter to Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton on Tuesday, the Department of Homeland Security demanded the immediate removal of razor wire and “unrestricted access” for its agents to the border via Shelby Park, a 2.5-mile stretch through which the frontier can be reached, but which has been blockaded by the Texas National Guard. The letter ordered Paxton to comply by Friday.
“They’re trying to make this a fight,” Patrick told Ingraham. “We’re trying to protect our border, we’re trying to protect American lives and Texas lives.”
Some 25 Republican governors issued a joint statement of solidarity with Abbott on Thursday. “We stand in solidarity with our fellow Governor, Greg Abbott, and the State of Texas in utilizing every tool and strategy, including razor wire fences, to secure the border,” the letter read. “We do it in part because the Biden Administration is refusing to enforce immigration laws already on the books and is illegally allowing mass parole across America of migrants who entered our country illegally.”
Border Patrol agents encountered more than 300,000 illegal immigrants crossing into the US in December, an all-time high for a single month. At least 7.5 million people – more than the population of the state of Arizona – have entered the US illegally since Biden took office in 2021 and dismantled former President Donald Trump’s restrictive immigration policies, according to US Customs and Border Protection data.