Top 5 This Week

Related Posts

Political Blame Game Over Tragedy: Migrants Drowned Before Border Patrol’s Arrival

The three migrants –a mother and her two children– who drowned while trying to cross the Rio Grande River had already died when the Texas National Guard denied the Border Patrol access to the river, a Department of Justice filing acknowledges. The filing admits that federal surveillance equipment could have provided the opportunity to take proper actions.

The migrants’ deaths have heightened tensions between the Biden administration and the Texas government, which has blocked federal border agents from entering Shelby Park in Eagle Pass, even in emergency situations. The state also blocked the installation of federal surveillance equipment.

“It is impossible to say what might have happened if Border Patrol had had its former access to the area — including through its surveillance trucks that assisted in monitoring the area,” U.S. Solicitor General Elizabeth B. Prelogar wrote. “At the very least, however, Border Patrol would have had the opportunity to take any available steps to fulfill its responsibilities and assist its counterparts in the Mexican government with undertaking the rescue mission. Texas made that impossible.”

The Department of Justice is requesting the Supreme Court to grant federal agents access to the portion of the border occupied by state forces.

Robert Danley, U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s lead field coordinator for the Del Rio area, wrote a statement attached to the DOJ filing clarifying the U.S. government’s timeline of events.

According to Danley, a representative of Mexico’s National Institute of Migration notified U.S. officials at 9 p.m. Friday that two migrants were in distress on the U.S. side of the border near Shelby Park. The same representative also informed the Border Patrol that a woman and two children had drowned around 8 p.m.

A Border Patrol agent then went to the entrance of Shelby Park, where Texas National Guard said the Border Patrol wasn’t allowed in the area and refused to let him in.

The next day, Mexican officials said they had rescued the migrants, who they said were in distress, trying to leave the U.S. and suffering from hypothermia. Mexican officials also said they rescued two other migrants who were attempting to cross into the U.S. from Mexico. In addition, they said they recovered the bodies of the woman and two children who drowned.

U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar, D-Laredo, told the Dallas Morning News that the tragedy could have been prevented if the state had allowed monitoring equipment from the Border Patrol. Cuellar has also criticized Gov. Greg Abbott for not cooperating with the federal government and taking steps on his own. 

Cuellar shared an initial statement, saying that the state was responsible for the deaths. In response, Abbott said that he and the media were blaming the state when the migrants were already dead when Border Patrol requested access to the River, he then blamed Joe Biden for the deaths.

Written by RA News staff.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Award-App Footer

Download our award-winning app