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State, federal officials trade blame over migrant drownings

Jan 15

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A mother and two children have drowned trying to cross the Rio Grande into Texas. The border tragedy has pitted federal and state officials against each other once again.

The Biden administration claims Texas prevented border agents from trying to rescue the migrants. However, Texas said that description of events is “wholly inaccurate,” and that the migrants were already dead when Border Patrol contacted them.

This story is being covered across the political spectrum.

Left-leaning news outlets are emphasizing federal officials’ statements regarding the incident, while right-leaning news outlets are highlighting Texas’ response to the migrant deaths.

Regardless of coverage, however, the facts of the story seem to depend on the source as federal and state officials are reciting different versions of events.

“In responding to a distress call from the Mexican government, Border Patrol agents were physically barred by Texas officials from entering the park,” the Department of Homeland Security said in a statement. “The Texas governor’s policies are cruel, dangerous, and inhumane, and Texas’s blatant disregard for federal authority over immigration poses grave risks.”

“The Texas Military Department and the Texas National Guard did not grant access to Border Patrol agents to save the migrants,” Texas Democratic Rep. Henry Cuellar said.

According to the Texas Military’s investigation, when Border Patrol contacted the state’s National Guard to request access to Shelby Park, Mexico officials were already recovering three bodies on its side of the river. Border Patrol requested access to the park to help with two other migrants who crossed with the group. Those two people were apprehended by Texas guardsmen. Texas officials patrolled the river to ensure no other migrants were in distress.

“Turns out @RepCuellar (& some media) were so eager to point finger at Texas for drowning of migrants they forgot to the get the facts,” Gov. Abbott said on X. “The fact is the deaths are because of Biden’s open border magnet.”

This particular portion of the border at Shelby Park is an area that Texas officials took control of last week. The state said federal officials weren’t doing enough at this sector to deter illegal crossings, and they are not letting Border Patrol agents enter the park.

However, the state’s authority to take over the responsibility from the federal government is being challenged in court by the Justice Department. This is just the latest in a slew of legal battles as state and federal officials spar over the border crisis.

Straight Arrow News strives to provide unbiased, fact-based news in addition to offering a comprehensive look at how the media is covering stories that matter most. Learn more about the Media Miss™ tool and decide for yourself. 

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[Karah Rucker]

A MOTHER AND TWO CHILDREN – HAVE DROWNED TRYING TO CROSS THE RIO GRANDE INTO TEXAS.

ITS PITTED FEDERAL AND STATE OFFICIALS AGAINST EACH OTHER.

THE BIDEN ADMINISTRATION CLAIMS TEXAS **PREVENTED BORDER AGENTS FROM TRYING TO RESCUE THE MIGRANTS.

BUT TEXAS SAYS THAT DESCRIPTION OF EVENTS IS “WHOLLY INACCURATE.”

THAT THE MIGRANTS WERE ALREADY DEAD WHEN BORDER PATROL CONTACTED THEM. 

YET IT’S THE STATEMENT FROM FEDERAL OFFICIALS MAKING THE MAJORITY OF HEADLINES.

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/3-migrants-drown-near-shelby-park-eagle-pass-texas-soldiers-denied-entry-federal-border-agents/

“FROM CBS. “TEXAS PHYSICALLY BARRED” BORDER PATROL AGENTS FROM TRYING TO RESCUE MIGRANTS.”

“NBC. BORDER PATROL PREVENTED BY TEXAS OFFICIALS FROM INTERVENING TO HELP DROWNING MIGRANTS.”

“THE WASHINGTON POST. 3 MIGRANTS DROWN AFTER TEXAS BLOCKS FEDS.”

ABC. THE ASSOCIATED PRESS. AND OTHER NEWS OUTLETS WITH A LEFT-LEANING BIAS CITED **U.S. OFFICIALS IN THEIR HEADLINES.

WHILE RIGHT-LEANING NEWS OUTLETS LIKE FOX NEWS – HIGHLIGHTED WHAT **TEXAS HAD TO SAY ABOUT THE TRAGEDY.

GOVERNOR “ABBOTT SAYS CLAIMS TEXAS ALLOWED MIGRANTS TO DROWN ARE FALSE: THEY FORGOT TO GET THE FACTS.”

WHAT ARE THE FACTS?

IT DEPENDS ON YOUR SOURCE.

THE DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY SAID “

In responding to a distress call from the Mexican government, Border Patrol agents were physically barred by Texas officials from entering the park. The Texas governor’s policies are cruel, dangerous, and inhumane, and Texas’s blatant disregard for federal authority over immigration poses grave risks.”

TEXAS DEMOCRATIC REPRESENTATIVE HENRY CUELLAR SAID “THE TEXAS MILITARY DEPARTMENT AND THE TEXAS NATIONAL GUARD DID NOT GRANT ACCESS TO BORDER PATROL AGENTS TO SAVE THE MIGRANTS.”

BUT ACCORDING TO THE TEXAS MILITARY’S INVESTIGATION –

WHEN BORDER PATROL CONTACTED THE STATE’S NATIONAL GUARD REQUESTING ACCESS TO “SHELBY PARK” –

**MEXICO OFFICIALS WERE ALREADY RECOVERING 3 BODIES ON ***MEXICO’S SIDE OF THE RIVER.

BORDER PATROL REQUESTED ACCESS TO THE PARK TO HELP WITH TWO **OTHER MIGRANTS WHO CROSSED WITH THE GROUP. THOSE TWO PEOPLE WERE APPREHENDED BY TEXAS GUARDSMEN.

TEXAS OFFICIALS PATROLLED THE RIVER TO ENSURE NO OTHER MIGRANTS WERE IN DISTRESS.

GOVERNOR ABBOTT SAID ON X “TURNS OUT REPRESENTATIVE CUELLAR AND SOME MEDIA WERE SO EAGER TO POINT FINGER AT TEXAS FOR DROWNING OF MIGRANTS THEY FORGOT TO THE GET THE FACTS. WHEN BORDER PATROL REQUESTED ACCESS TO RIVER – THE DROWNINGS HAD ALREADY OCCURRED AND FOUND IN MEXICO. THE FACT IS THE DEATHS ARE BECAUSE OF BIDEN’S OPEN BORDER MAGNET.”

THIS PARTICULAR PORTION OF THE RIO GRANDE SITS ACROSS FROM SHELBY PARK –

AN AREA THAT TEXAS OFFICIALS TOOK CONTROL OF LAST WEEK.

THE STATE SAYS FEDERAL OFFICIALS WEREN’T DOING ENOUGH AT THIS SECTOR TO DETER ILLEGAL CROSSINGS.

STATE OFFICIALS ARE NOT LETTING BORDER PATROL AGENTS ENTER THE PARK.

BUT THE STATE’S AUTHORITY TO TAKE OVER THE RESPONSIBILITY FROM THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT – IS BEING CHALLENGED IN COURT BY THE JUSTICE DEPARTMENT.

JUST THE LATEST IN A SLEW OF LEGAL BATTLES –

AS STATE AND FEDERAL OFFICIALS SPAR OVER THE BORDER CRISIS.