Since this is such a hot story, we will use many block quotes to keep things clear.
Originally, it was reported by CBS News, quoting federal officials and a Texas congressman, that National Guard soldiers deployed by Texas Governor Greg Abbott did not allow Border Patrol agents to attempt to rescue migrants who were drowning trying to cross the border.
“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,” Democrat Congressman Henry Cuellar said in a statement.
Immediately following the incident, the White House blamed Governor Abbott:
“On Friday night, a woman and two children drowned near Eagle Pass, and Texas officials blocked U.S. Border Patrol from attempting to provide emergency assistance,” the spokesperson said. “While we continue to gather facts about the circumstances of these tragic deaths, one thing is clear: Governor Abbott’s political stunts are cruel, inhumane, and dangerous. U.S. Border Patrol must have access to the border to enforce our laws.”
In response to the narrative, the Texas Military Department (TMD) said that they were only contacted by border patrol so agents could collect the migrants that did cross the river. TMD denied the request and turned the migrants over to the state police. However, one of the migrants was medically treated for hypothermia. It was Mexican officials who retrieved those who sadly drowned, and the TMD at no time observed anyone in distress. Texas refuted the claim that they refused to allow Border Patrol access to provide help to rescue those that drowned as the White House claimed.
Below is their full statement:
NEW: The Texas Military Department has released a statement denying TX Congressman @RepCuellar’s claim that TX soldiers blocked Border Patrol from rescuing drowning migrants and refused to offer assistance themselves near Shelby Park in Eagle Pass.
— Bill Melugin (@BillMelugin_) January 14, 2024
However, we learned even more after the DOJ requested the Supreme Court intervene.
According to the filing from Biden’s DOJ, around 9pm, Mexican officials had contacted Border Patrol that two migrants were in distress on the US side of the border in the area that Texas had taken over. Mexican officials also informed Border Patrol that around 8 pm, a woman and two children had drowned.
The Biden administration once again pushed a false narrative at the border, now refuted by their own DOJ.
White House claim: “On Friday night, a woman and two children drowned near Eagle Pass, and Texas officials blocked U.S. Border Patrol from attempting to provide emergency… pic.twitter.com/B8bsP13Mxv
— Bill Melugin (@BillMelugin_) January 16, 2024
The Biden DOJ has also sent a cease and desist letter to Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton. Department of Homeland Security General Counsel Jonathan Meyer wrote, “The recent actions by the State of Texas have impeded operations of the Border Patrol,” Meyer wrote. “Those actions conflict with the authority and duties of Border Patrol under federal law and are preempted under the Supremacy Clause of the Constitution.”
Meyer added: “Texas’s actions also improperly seek to regulate the federal government. I am writing to demand that Texas immediately cease and desist any actions taken by the State that block Border Patrol’s full access to the U.S.-Mexico border in and around the Shelby Park area.”
The situation is setting up a big showdown between Texas and the Biden administration. CBS News did update their story to reflect the most recent information.