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Attorney General Ken Paxton Refuses Biden Administration’s Demand to Surrender Shelby Park and End Border Security Measures

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Created image for illustration purposes only depicting the tension between Texas and the federal government over border security at Shelby Park, Eagle Pass, Texas. Image credit Rafaelo.gallery
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AUSTIN – Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton responded in a letter today denying demands made by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”), explaining that Texas will continue securing the border. Additionally, Attorney General Paxton made a list of counter-demands, requesting the federal agency release certain documents and precise information relating to their alleged authority.

On January 11, the Texas Military Department secured Shelby Park in Eagle Pass, Texas, to protect the public and reinforce border security measures deterring an ongoing invasion. Inexplicably, DHS alleged that such law enforcement actions were unlawful and demanded that Texas “cease and desist” its activities to secure the park. On January 17, Attorney General Paxton rejected DHS’s claims, detailing how the agency misstated “both the facts and the law.” DHS then sent another letter, demanding that Texas tear down all obstructions on the property, open the border to illegal aliens, and surrender Shelby Park.

Today, Attorney General Paxton has denied the Biden Administration’s unfounded requests and issued counter-demands. By February 15, DHS must supply the official plat maps and deeds demonstrating the precise parcels to which they claim ownership, an explanation of how Texas is preventing access to those specific parcels, documentation showing that Eagle Pass or Texas ever granted permission for DHS to erect infrastructure that interferes with border security, and proof of Congress empowering DHS to turn a Texas park into an unofficial and illegal port of entry. If the federal government is going to make such claims, it must provide proof.

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“Presumably because you have no meaningful response to our letter, your latest letter abandons earlier factual assertions, asserts new one, and supplies even less of a legal basis for your demand. Once again, I respectfully suggest that any time you might spend suing Texas should be redirected toward enforcing the immigration laws Congress already has on the books,” Attorney General Paxton told DHS. “As I said before, this office will continue to defend Texas’s efforts to protect its southern border against every effort by the Biden Administration to undermine the State’s constitutional right of self-defense,”

Read the letter, below:

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