Eagle Pass, Rio Grande, Border
Migrants walk along the Rio Grande Verónica G. Cárdenas/The Texas Tribune

The Biden and Abbott administrations have entered yet a new round of their dispute over access to Texas' border, with the former sending a letter demanding that federal agents be given full access to a public park that has become an immigration hotspot.

Concretely, the chief lawyer for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) requested Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton to clarify which parts of Shelby Park, located in the border town of Eagle Pass, are accessible and inaccessible to Border Patrol.

"To our knowledge, Texas has only permitted access to Shelby Park by allowing public entry for a memorial, the media, and the use of the golf course adjacent to Shelby Park, all while continuing to restrict U.S. Border Patrol's access to the park. Please clarify the scope of access Texas permits to the public," reads a passage of the letter, as reported by NBC News.

Shelby Park is used by Border Patrol agents to inspect and hold migrants and, according to DHS' top lawyer Jonathan Meyer, National Guard forces have been preventing federal operations to apprehend migrants and rescue those who might be in distress.

Moreover, DHS argues that state law enforcement officials have been arresting migrants who cross into the U.S., part of a broader strategy to crack down on immigration that is at odds with the federal government and has resulted in several parallel clashes.

Texas has repeatedly rejected these attempts from the Biden administration, recently rejecting a cease-and-desist letter and saying that "facts and law side with Texas."

"The State will continue utilizing its constitutional authority to defend her territory, and I will continue defending those lawful efforts in court," said Paxton in his response, in which he claimed that the government is not enforcing U.S. immigration law by letting migrants enter the country.

The Biden administration has anticipated it will refer the matter to the Department of Justice but hasn't filed a formal lawsuit so far.

On Monday, the Supreme Court allowed Border Patrol to cut razor wire installed by Texas along an area of the southern border.

At the US-Mexico Border
Members of the Texas Army National Guard extend razor wire to inhibit migrants from crossing, as seen from Ciudad Juárez. Reuters

The divided 5-4 decision granted an emergency appeal by the Biden administration, allowing federal authorities to cut the razor wire while a lawsuit over the issue continues.

Texas has also passed a bill allowing law enforcement to arrest and deport migrants who cross the border illegally. Known as SB4, the law makes it a misdemeanor to illegally cross the border and a second-degree felony to do so for a second time. Punishments for this latter case range between 180 days in jail to 20 years in prison. The law also allows judges to order that undocumented people "return to the foreign nation from which they entered."

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