The Texas Department of Public Safety, under orders from Gov. Greg Abbott (R), has stepped up security and deterrence measures at the southern border with Mexico in response to the lax enforcement policies of the federal government under President Joe Biden.
A recent viral video shows a federal U.S. Border Patrol agent cutting and removing razorwire laid by Texas DPS on the U.S. side of the Rio Grande River in order to allow a group of migrants to illegally enter, however, according to the Daily Wire.
It is believed to be the first time that such an incident has occurred -- or at least been caught on camera -- and reveals the unfortunate fact that, rather than work together cooperatively to defend the border, the feds are working at cross purposes to state and local efforts.
Fox News reporter Bill Melugin shared the video on social media and wrote, "Video from source in Eagle Pass shows Border Patrol cutting through razor wire placed by the state of TX to allow migrants to enter & be processed after crossing illegally. @TxDPS tells me this is the first time they know of this happening, and that it’s being looked into for potential destruction of TX property."
"The federal government’s position is that once migrants are on U.S. soil, under U.S. law, they need to be processed, and cannot be repelled or turned away," he continued. "Texas is taking a much different approach, and has been physically blocking migrants under orders from Governor @GregAbbott_TX."
"TXDPS tells me the location this video was shot at is private property, and that they have permission from the owner to lay down razor wire and arrest migrants for criminal trespassing," Melugin added. "This Border Patrol agent is likely just doing what he’s been told -- but this will likely lead to more friction between TX & the Feds, who have drastically different approaches at the border."
NEW: Video from source in Eagle Pass shows Border Patrol cutting through razor wire placed by the state of TX to allow migrants to enter & be processed after crossing illegally. @TxDPS tells me this is the first time they know of this happening, and that it’s being looked into… pic.twitter.com/jESPbzj9sw
— Bill Melugin (@BillMelugin_) June 30, 2023
Several hours later, Melugin added a follow-up to the shocking video he had posted earlier with a response from a spokesperson for U.S. Customs and Border Patrol, and the reporter said, "A CBP official tells me a Border Patrol boat encountered a group of migrants with several small children, and that in order to quickly apprehend them and get them out of the heat, a BP agent cut the razor wire to access the area 'consistent w/ federal law'."
According to Just the News, a statement from CBP was also issued that said, "It is a federal responsibility to enforce U.S. immigration laws. U.S. Border Patrol continues to enforce U.S. immigration laws. The individuals had already crossed the Rio Grande from Mexico, were on U.S. soil, and are subject to U.S. immigration laws."
"Individuals who cross unlawfully will be subject to the lawful pathways rule, which places common-sense conditions on asylum eligibility, with certain exceptions. Those who do not establish a legal basis to remain in the United States will be removed," the CBP statement added.
In reaction to the viral video, Texas DPS Lt. Chris Olivarez joined Fox News and confirmed that this was the first such incident that he was aware of in which federal agents were caught actively thwarting the efforts of state agents to secure the southern border and deter illegal entry, which he lamented "completely undermines" their mission.
The Texas official emphasized that he did not blame the Border Patrol agent and, similar to what the reporter had said, suggested that he had no real choice in the matter and was just following orders handed down from senior officials in Washington D.C.
In response to the CBP statement on the incident, Olivarez reiterated that Border Patrol agents on the ground -- with whom Texas DPS generally has a good working relationship and mutual support -- have no choice but to abide by federal laws and policies as a condition of their jobs in situations like these.
With regard to Texas, however, he added, "That's not what we're gonna do. We're gonna continue to make it more challenging. We're gonna add more wire, more barriers along those areas to prevent any mass migration."