A video shared by a Fox News national correspondent on Friday appears to show a Border Patrol agent cutting through razor wire installed by the Texas Department of Public Safety to deter illegal immigration. The video then captures the agent holding the wire out of the way as several migrants walk through the opening and onto private property.
Bill Melugin, a Los Angeles-based national correspondent for Fox News, shared the video on Twitter.
According to Melugin, the footage was captured on private property in Eagle Pass, where the owner gave Texas DPS permission to install razor wire to reduce illegal crossings.
Texas DPS told Melugin that this is the first time it is aware that federal Border Patrol agents have tampered with its installed deterrents. The agency also stated that it plans to investigate the “potential destruction of TX property.”
“The federal government’s position is that once migrants are on U.S. soil, under U.S. law, they need to be processed, and cannot be repelled or turned away. Texas is taking a much different approach, and has been physically blocking migrants under orders from Governor @GregAbbott_TX,” Melugin tweeted.
“TXDPS tells me the location this video was shot at is private property, and that they have permission from the owner to lay down razor wire and arrest migrants for criminal trespassing. This Border Patrol agent is likely just doing what he’s been told - but this will likely lead to more friction between TX & the Feds, who have drastically different approaches at the border,” Melugin added.
In a statement to Melugin, Customs and Border Protection explained that federal agents observed a group of migrants with young children who had already crossed the Rio Grande River and, therefore, were on United States soil. A CBP official explained that agents attempted to apprehend the group quickly to get them out of the heat.
“It is a federal responsibility to enforce U.S. immigration laws. U.S. Border Patrol continues to enforce U.S. immigration laws. The individuals had already crossed the Rio Grande from Mexico, were on U.S. soil, and are subject to U.S. immigration laws. Individuals who cross unlawfully will be subject to the lawful pathways rule, which places common-sense conditions on asylum eligibility, with certain exceptions. Those who do not establish a legal basis to remain in the United States will be removed,” a CBP official told Melugin.
Texas DPS Lieutenant Chris Olivarez told Fox News that he believes the Border Patrol agent was following orders handed down by the Biden administration.
“Anyone who crosses the river, once they’re on US soil, Border Patrol agents have no choice, no matter what the conditions are, no matter what barriers are in front of them, they have to allow those immigrants into the country so they can be processed,” Olivarez explained.
“By cutting that wire, by cutting that fence that we have placed as a state to repel mass migration, this completely undermines our ability to secure the border,” he added. “That’s the whole purpose of why we placed that wire along the Rio Grande river is to redirect, to deter any mass groups crossing that dangerous river, especially now with the extreme heat.”
Olivarez noted that Texas DPS plans to add more razor wire and other barriers along the border to deter illegal migration.
In May, Melugin shared a video that appeared to show a United States soldier opening a border gate to allow migrants to enter private property in Eagle Pass, Texas. The Texas National Guard told Melugin that the soldier in the video was working with Border Patrol and under federal government orders.
CBP has reported more than 1.6 million southern border encounters from October through May.
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