DOJ and Texas Battle Over Migrant Rescues

( – According to a new filing from the US Department of Justice (DOJ), the three immigrants who drowned this month while trying to cross the Rio Grande River into Texas were already dead when the state’s National Guard turned away US Border Patrol Agents from entering the area to assist, contradicting earlier claims that barring the agents is what killed the border-crossers.

A leading field agent for US Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Robert Danley, published a statement alongside a court filing. The statement confirmed the US was notified by a Mexican official about a woman and two children drowning on Friday, Jan. 12, while attempting to cross the Rio Grande River. After the notification was received, Border Patrol sent an official to the Shelby Park port of entry, where three Texas National Guard members told him they were given orders not to let them into the area.

The DOJ filing, which proves the immigrants were already dead when Border Patrol showed up, contradicts previous reports from the mainstream media, as well as statements by Democratic Rep. Henry Cuellar of Texas, claiming the state stopped Border Patrol officials from saving the immigrants’ lives by denying them entry to the area.

The news also contradicts a cease-and-desist letter sent by Jonathan Meyer, the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) general counsel, to Ken Paxton, the Texas Attorney General. The letter ordered the state to stop barring Border Patrol agents from accessing areas along the US-Mexico border in Texas. Meyer said in the letter that despite “instances of imminent danger” to immigrants, the state still fails to “provide access to the border” to allow the agents to “conduct law enforcement and emergency response.”

The federal government and the Lone Star State have been engaged in legal battles over the past few months over how the southern border and immigration crisis should be handled.

The DOJ previously sued the state and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott for installing razor wire along the border and a buoy barrier in the Rio Grande, which the state has appealed. Abbott also recently signed a law allowing Texas law enforcement to arrest and deport illegal immigrants, which the federal government is also challenging.

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