Amidst a military-like standoff between the Texas National Guard and U.S. Border Patrol at Shelby Park in Eagle Pass, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is refusing to surrender control of the park to Border Patrol. 

In a January 26 letter addressed to Department of Homeland Security General Counsel Jonathan Meyer, Paxton denied Meyer’s demands to let Border Patrol agents into Shelby Park, presumably to destroy Texas’ concertina razor wire fence barricades per a Supreme Court order allowing federal agents to do so.

“As I said before, this office will continue to defend Texas’s efforts to protect its southern border against every effort by the Biden Administration to undermine the State’s constitutional right of self-defense,” Paxton’s letter reads. “You should advise your clients to join us in those efforts by doing their job and following the law.” 

Further, instead of solely denying requests from Meyer and the DHS to allow Border Patrol into Shelby Park, Paxton made a list of counter demands—to be met by February 15 of this year. 

These demands include providing “official plat maps and deeds demonstrating the precise parcels that you believe the United States owns” and an “explanation of how exactly Texas officials are preventing access to those parcels by federal agents.” 

Other demands made by Paxton later in the letter to be met by the same date include written approval from the city of Eagle Pass or the state of Texas to compromise the state’s border security measures hinted at in Meyer’s original letter, as well as an “explanation of where the Congress has empowered your [Meyer’s] federal agency to pursue this scheme, notwithstanding statutory provisions to the contrary.”

The standoff began on January 11, when the Texas Military Department secured Shelby Park in Eagle Pass in an effort to deter the ongoing invasion at the southern border—prompting demands from DHS for Texas to cease and desist and subsequently surrender Shelby Park. 

Texas is continuing to deny these demands and “hold the line.” 

Texas Scorecard reached out to DHS for comment but has not yet received a response. 

Will Biagini

Will was born in Louisiana and raised in a military family. He currently serves as a journalist with Texas Scorecard. Previously, he was a senior correspondent for Campus Reform.