Eagle Pass, Texas – The Texas National Guard last week shut down access to 50 acres encompassing Shelby Park in Eagle Pass, along the Rio Grande border, under orders from Governor Abbott as part of Operation Lone Star, effectively cutting off access to the city’s largest green space for the city’s 28,000 residents.
In response to the seizure of the park, a coalition of national and Texas civil rights and immigrant justice groups, including LatinoJustice PRLDEF, Immigrant Legal Resource Center, Eagle Pass Border Coalition, Border Vigil, National Immigration Project,Young Center For Immigrant Children’s Rights, Never Again Action, Detention Watch Network, National Immigration Law Center, Texas Civil Rights Project, and America’s Voice issued the following statement:
“Commandeering Shelby Park is a broad overreach of power by the State of Texas that undermines the federal government, local elected officials and community members who pay taxes and rely on the park for a variety of community uses. This move has left locals struggling to gain access to an integral part of their culture, community, and land.
“Cutting off access to this area also puts the lives of migrants in danger because medical providers will be unable to reach people in need of help in a timely fashion. We have a recent example of how cutting off access increases risk to migrants, with the case of the mother and two children who were left to drown as Texas troops prevented Border Patrol from intervening.
“Governor Abbott’s recent callous statements regarding the possibility of shooting migrants is yet more evidence of how he disregards the lives and well-being of Black and Brown communities. We stand in solidarity with Eagle Pass community members and demand Shelby Park be reopened. We call on the Biden administration to investigate OLS, and ensure migrants are processed humanely and allowed to access their right to apply for asylum.”