Recent footage showing a U.S. Border Patrol agent allegedly slicing through razor wire to permit illegal migrants entry into the country has sparked debate nationwide. The incident occurred on private property in Eagle Pass, Texas, raising questions on the jurisdiction of federal and state law enforcement. The video was released by Fox News correspondent Bill Melguin, shedding light on the starkly contrasting policies held by the Texas state government and the Biden administration regarding border security.
The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) installed the razor wire barrier to deter unauthorized entry of migrants. However, this obstruction was bypassed by a federal Border Patrol agent to allow a group of migrants, including several small children, to enter for processing. This move was justified by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), with an official stating, “It is a federal responsibility to enforce U.S. immigration laws.”
CBP RESPONDS: 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”.
— Bill Melugin (@BillMelugin_) June 30, 2023
Despite the Biden administration’s position that U.S. law requires the processing of migrants who manage to reach American soil, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) takes a different approach. Abbott’s administration has been employing physical barriers, such as the razor wire, to stop migrants from illegally entering the Lone Star State.
Border Patrol agents, on encountering the group of migrants, cut through the wire to swiftly apprehend and remove them from the heat. They were deemed subject to U.S. immigration laws, given they had already crossed the Rio Grande from Mexico and were on U.S. soil. Yet, the state of Texas sees this as potential destruction of their property, given the wire was placed on private land with the owner’s permission.
This situation reflects the increasing friction between Texas and the federal government, both holding opposing views on border security. Melguin rightly pointed out that the Border Patrol agent was “likely just doing what he’s been told,” but it may lead to escalated tension.
The surge of migrants at the southern border, with over 1.6 million illegal entries this fiscal year, has drawn nationwide attention. The Biden administration’s seemingly lenient policies toward migrants who successfully cross the border contrast sharply with Texas’ hardline stance.
Since the inception of Operation Lone Star in March 2021, Governor Abbott’s office declared that DPS and the Texas National Guard have made “over 386,000 illegal immigrant apprehensions and more than 30,000 criminal arrests.” The operation is geared to secure the border and stop illicit activities.
Victor Avila, a retired Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and ICE Special Agent, weighed in on the issue. He blamed the Biden administration’s policies for the chaos, though he noted that Border Patrol agents are just following orders.