Democrats (And Their MSM Lackeys) “Forgot To Get The Facts” Over Texas Illegal Immigrant Drownings, Abbott Says

January 17, 2024 in News by RBN Staff

source:  zerohedge

WEDNESDAY, JAN 17, 2024 – 07:55 AM

Authored by Caden Pearson via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),

Gov. Greg Abbott (R-Texas) said on Monday that Democrats “forgot to get the facts” before accusing Texas authorities of preventing Border Patrol from rescuing drowning illegal immigrants in the Rio Grande.

National Guard soldiers stand guard on the banks of the Rio Grande river at Shelby Park in Eagle Pass, Texas, on Jan. 12, 2024. (Brandon Bell/Getty Images)

Contrary to allegations leveled by a Democrat Congress member and the Biden administration, the Texas Military Department (TMD) asserted on Jan. 14 that the bodies of one adult woman and two children had already been recovered from the river by Mexican authorities before Border Patrol agents requested access to a fenced-off 2.5-mile stretch of the southern border in Eagle Pass on Jan. 12.

TMD, which runs the National Guard, provided additional details about the incident in an updated statement on Jan. 14, once again calling the allegations “wholly inaccurate.”

“At the time that Border Patrol requested access, the drownings had occurred, Mexican authorities were recovering the bodies, and Border Patrol expressed these facts to the TMD personnel on site,” the TMD stated on Jan. 14.

According to TMD, its soldiers reported that at the time of the incident, Border Patrol agents informed them that Mexican authorities had already recovered the bodies of two drowned people.

TMD added that federal Border Patrol agents requested access to the park to apprehend two additional illegal immigrants who crossed at the Shelby Park boat ramp. These individuals were presumed to be travel companions of the deceased, according to the agency.

Of the two illegal immigrants apprehended, TMD stated that its soldiers turned one of them over to the Texas Department of Public Safety, while the other was transferred to emergency medical services due to hypothermic conditions.

“Additionally, TMD remained engaged with lights, night vision goggles, and thermals to ensure that no additional migrants were in the river or in distress,” TMD stated.

The previous day, the agency asserted that its security personnel saw no sign of distressed illegal immigrants in the river and that Mexican authorities required no help with an incident observed on the Mexican side of the river bank. TMD also said that its personnel did not turn away any illegal immigrants.

Responding to TMD’s statement, Mr. Abbott took to X (formerly Twitter) to criticize Democrats who “were so eager to point the finger at Texas for [the] drowning of migrants [that] they forgot to get the facts.”

Disputed Facts: Each Side Blames the Other’s Policies

The facts of the incident are disputed with each side blaming the other’s border policies for the deaths.

This week, Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Texas) said in a statement on X that Texas authorities had denied Border Patrol agents access to the park, leading to the drowning deaths of the illegal immigrants.

In his statement, Mr. Cuellar said the Mexican authorities had retrieved the bodies on Jan. 13, the morning after Border Patrol agents purportedly requested access to Shelby Park.

Mexican authorities are said to have alerted Border Patrol at 9 p.m. on Jan. 12 about six illegal immigrants in distress in the river, according to Mr. Cuellar. He claimed that Border Patrol could not contact Texas authorities by phone, so they made physical contact but were denied entry to the park.

On Jan. 15, Mr. Abbott, responding to the TMD’s statement, said: “The fact is the deaths are [because] of Biden’s Open Border magnet.

Texas seized control of Shelby Park on Jan. 10 in a bid to deter illegal immigration, which often flows through the park. The Border Patrol has used the park to launch patrol boats and process detained illegal immigrants.

DHS Threatens Lawsuit

The federal and Texas state governments have long clashed over border policies and jurisdiction.

Texas argues for its constitutional right to safeguard borders independently, citing the president’s lack of enforcement of federal immigration laws, especially as the state grapples with a surge in border crossings without ample federal support.

The Department of Homeland Security, citing the tragic drownings, has threatened legal action against the state of Texas, asserting that its actions to block federal Border Patrol agents from accessing Shelby Park are unconstitutional.

We demand 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,” DHS General Counsel Jonathan Meyer wrote to Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton.

Responding to the threat, Mr. Abbott said: “Biden is doing everything possible to eliminate strategies that actually prevent illegal immigrants from entering our country. Texas will continue to use every tool possible to block illegal immigration.”