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The Grizzly Gazette

The Grizzly Gazette

The Grizzly Gazette

Texas Takes Over Shelby Park
Texas Department of Public Safety officers close down Shelby Park (Photo Credits:

On January 10, 2024, the Texas Department of Public Safety government took control of Shelby Park in Eagle Pass, Texas. This action was done against the wishes of local authorities and city officials. 

The government’s taking over of Shelby Park was an effort to defend the entry point into the state from illegal immigrants crossing the Rio Grande border into Texas. 

This park is located near the Rio Grande River and has been a very popular spot for families to gather there and spend time outdoors. 

This particular area, however, has seen an increase in illegal immigration in recent months, and many individuals were attempting to cross the border into Texas. 

Greg Abbott, a Texas Governor, signed an emergency declaration for officers to take full control of the 47-acre park.
The Texas government, in response to the rapid incursion of illegal immigrants, deployed additional law enforcement officers to Shelby Park to secure the area and prevent future illegal entries. 

Local officials have met this action with resistance, as they argue that the state’s actions are unnecessary and could lead to tensions between law enforcement and the local community. 

“That is not a decision that we agreed to. This is not something that we wanted. This is not something that we asked for as a city.” said Rolando Salinas, the Eagle Pass Mayor. 

Even with the continual objections, the Texas government continues to stand firm in its decision to take control of the park. Officials state that they are committed to protecting the state’s borders and ensuring the safety of its residents. The importance of federal immigration laws was emphasized, as well as the significance of preventing individuals from entering the country illegally.

Abbott and his supporters said that “Texas is using different tactics to deter people from crossing the border illegally and blamed the Biden administration’s immigration policies”.

Currently, tensions are running high in Shelby Park, as many residents are expressing concern about the presence of law enforcement officers and the potential for conflict. 

A group of Eagle Pass residents called The Border Vigil criticized Texas’ move. They protested that the Texas takeover of Shelby Park, where the Cross Memorial is established as a payment for the needless deaths on our border, is an inhuman endeavor to switch the attention from its failures and weaken Mexican authorities’ efforts and civil society to address the sympathetic crisis at the border. 

About a week after the Texas government took control of the park, “U.S. officials sent a cease and desist order to the state of Texas demanding the Texas Military Department leave Shelby Park and stop blocking the Border Patrol from having access to it,” said Ken Molestina from CBS News Texas. 

Texas, however, is still not complying. In another case where five Mexican migrants were attempting to gain access through the park, Texas refused, and three people died from drowning, while the other two were saved with signs of hypothermia.

It remains to be seen how the state government’s actions will impact the community and other states in the United States, and whether or not this action will prove to be successful in deterring illegal immigration in the area

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