Armed National Guardsmen defending the Lone Star state have taken control of city property at a critical border point, the Texas Military Department (TMD) said in a statement obtained by Fox News’s Bill Melugin.
“The Texas National Guard has maintained a presence with security points and temporary barrier in Shelby Park since 2021. The current posture is to prepare for future illegal immigrant surges and to restrict access to organizations that perpetuate illegal immigrant crossings in the park and greater Eagle Pass area,” the TMD told the outlet.
The decision by Texas Gov. Greg Abbot comes as the state and Biden administration continue to engage in legal disputes over Operation Lone Star, the governor’s mobilization of troops to secure the Texan border with Mexico amid an unprecedented border crossing crisis.
The city of Eagle Pass, Texas, confirmed the same day that state authorities were taking control of the area. Shelby Park is city property adjacent to the Rio Grande river, the waterway that divides the U.S. from Mexico.
“Texas will continue to deploy Texas National Guard soldiers, DPS troopers, and more barriers, utilizing every tool and strategy to respond to President Biden’s ongoing border crisis,” Texas spokeswoman Renae Eze told the New York Post.
Abbott has been cheered by conservatives and jeered by liberals in his state for making bold moves on the border.
In December, he made unlawful entry to Texas a punishable crime, enabling law enforcement agents to arrest illegal border crossers and empowering judges to issue an order for the deportation.
The move raised some concerns from critics who said the state lacked the power under the preemption doctrine to supersede the federal government in the area of immigration law.
ADN has closely followed the developing situation in Texas. Last year, the Lone Star state got into a dispute with the federal government after it created a floating barrier in the Rio Grande river.