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The standoff at Eagle Pass

Updated: Apr 18

By Andrew Duval April 4, 2024


With his thumbs hooked into his pockets, a Texas State Trooper gazes towards the border, searching for movement along the concertina wire that divides Eagle Pass, Texas from Mexico—a section of the border that has been hit hard by the rapidly growing migrant crisis. Eagle Pass has been the center of a standoff between the Texas National Guard and federal Border Patrol agents over a long-running dispute regarding who has the right to control the portion of the border.

Lyn Kang Art

On Jan. 11, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced an emergency declaration at Shelby Park—one of the most heavily trafficked areas of Eagle Pass—as a response to increased unauthorized crossings. The area was previously an immigration processing center run by Border Patrol agents, but since the declaration, Texas National Guard and State Troopers began to deny Border Patrol agents access to Shelby Park.


The border crisis and Texas’s discontent with the federal government’s response are not isolated to Eagle Pass. In December 2023, arrests for illegal border crossings reached an all-time high of 249,785 arrests, largely due to the termination of Title 42, which allowed officials to expel migrants to curb the spread of diseases such as COVID-19. During the Trump administration, the provision was used to turn migrants away and deny them the ability to seek asylum. However, as the coronavirus pandemic began to subside, the Biden administration lifted Title 42, leading to increased border crossings. 


To reduce the influx of border crossings, the Biden administration has reversed course on previously loosened border restrictions. The administration negotiated with The National Border Council Union, a bipartisan group of senators that has largely been critical of Biden’s policy, to create a bill  that included over $20 billion dollars in border security funding. However, former President Trump pressured Republicans to vote against the bill to prevent Biden from succeeding in an area that he has claimed is one of Biden’s greatest policy weaknesses. 


“Texas should have the authority to conduct its operations or deploy its troops to the border if it sees it fit, but  interfering with federal agents was unconducive to the situation and only created conflict,” Sophomore Lauren Law said.

In 2021, Abbott launched Operation Lone Star, which gave state law enforcement officials the authority to arrest migrants for crimes such as human smuggling and trespassing, resulting in  420,800 apprehensions and over 30,500 felony charges, as per The Office of the Texas Governor. Other Republican-led states such as Iowa and Florida have sent their own Guard members to Texas to aid in these arrests.


Furthermore, as part of his controversial immigration policy, Abbot made efforts to bus migrants to Democratic cities such as Chicago and Los Angeles, for which he was criticized for using the migrants as political pawns with no regard for their humanity. Texas also constructed numerous barriers near the border, including rows of concertina wire and a floating barrier in the Rio Grande river. The wire severely injured and endangered migrants and the floating barrier was illegally constructed without permission from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, attracting further humanitarian and legal backlash.


“Biden and Trump’s actions on immigration policy will be decisive in the election because it is a very important issue for both sides of the political spectrum. A huge portion of Trump’s appeal comes from his campaign promises regarding immigration policy,” Senior Mia Nguyen said.

Border crossings continue to remain at all-time highs, with migrants migrating over to other states for crossing, notably Arizona and California. In his State of The Union speech, Biden ordered Trump to stop playing politics and join him in passing the bipartisan border agreement. Whether Biden can effectively counter Republican claims that he is failing to stop illegal immigration could play a major role in deciding the election.

 

About the Contributors


Andrew Duval

Sports and Charger Follies Page Editor


Andrew Duval is a sophomore at Leland High School and is the Sports and Fun Page Editor for The Charger Account. He loves listening to music and playing with his yellow lab Winston.






Lyn Kang

artist


Lynn Kang is a junior at Leland High School and is the artist . During her free time, she enjoys watching movies, sleeping and listening to music such as pop


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