Woman and 2 children die while crossing Rio Grande, claims Border Patrol agents prevented them from intervening.

A woman and two children drowned in the Rio Grande Friday night in Eagle Pass, Texas, after U.S. border agents were prevented from responding, federal officials said Saturday.

In a statement, a spokesperson for the Department of Homeland Security said U.S. Border Patrol agents were aware of the migrant's plight by the Mexican government, but could not enter the area from the U.S. side after Texas National Guard troops under the direction of the Texas government. Greg Abbott prevented them from doing so.

“Responding to a distress call from the Mexican government, Border Patrol agents were physically blocked from entering the area by Texas officials,” the spokesperson said.

There were deaths Featured Saturday by U.S. Rep. Henry CuellarD-Texas, the dead were part of a group of six migrants on the river Friday night who were distressed.

Mexican authorities recovered the bodies of the three migrants on Saturday, Gullar said in a statement. Identities and exact ages were not available.

“The Border Patrol attempted to contact the Texas Department of the Army, the Texas National Guard and the TPS Command Post by phone, but was unsuccessful,” Cuellar said in the statement.

He continued: “Border Patrol agents then made physical contact with the Texas Department of the Army and the Texas National Guard at the Shelby Park entrance gate and verbally relayed the information. However, the Texas Department of the Army said they would not grant access to immigrants. In the event of an emergency — and that they would investigate the situation — a They will send a soldier.”

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In its own statement, the Texas Department of Defense denied the story, saying its personnel were aware of a distress report but were unable to find migrants in need of assistance on the river, and were then alerted to an incident nearby on the Mexican side of the river. , it does not need their help.

The department said it contacted the Border Patrol Friday night, and the agency said Mexican authorities did not need the Texas department's assistance.

“At no time did TMT security personnel along the riverside observe any distressed migrants or did TMT turn away any illegal immigrants from the United States during this period,” it said.

Abbott's office did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The Texas Department of Homeland Security referred similar requests to the Texas Department of the Army, which it said was not involved in Friday night's incident.

The mayor of Eagle Pass, Rolando Salinas Jr., said during a news conference Thursday that he had received a phone call earlier in the day from a Texas Department of Public Safety official. And three migrants are in distressed areas.

Salinas said a Texas Department of Defense official confirmed the acquisition. The department leads the Texas National Guard.

The move comes amid an ongoing court battle between the Department of Homeland Security and Texas over access to the border at Eagle Pass, which DHS says is surrounded by state-erected concertina wire. A lower court in December ruled in favor of Texas and barred federal agents from removing the restrictions.

A recent U.S. Supreme Court filing this week by the Department of Homeland Security renews its request to block federal agents from barricading the area.

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“Normal access by Border Patrol agents through points of entry at the federal border is prevented by the Texas National Guard establishing its own gates and restricting the entry of armed personnel at those points,” the filing said.

The filing continued, “and the Texas National Guard prevented the Border Patrol from using an access road through an existing state border barrier by parking a military Humvee there.”

White House spokesman Angelo Fernandez Hernandez told Reuters in a statement on Friday that the administration's efforts to stop Border Patrol agents were essentially a form of political drama.

“Governor Abbott continues his radical political stunts that not only seek to demonize and dehumanize people, but also make it harder and more dangerous for Border Patrol agents to do their jobs,” he said.

The park acquisition appeared to be part of Abbott's efforts to highlight immigration crossings and shame the Biden administration for what he and other top Republicans consider an open border policy. Abbott sends planes of migrants to cities led by elected Democrats who promise to take them in or offer asylum.

At a news conference Friday, Abbott said the acquisition of Eagle Pass was legal and necessary to prevent border crossings to “maintain operational control.”

5 The governor was criticized for comments during a Jan. 5 radio appearance in which he said Texas would do anything short of killing immigrants to prevent illegal crossings.

“The only thing we don't do is we don't shoot people coming across the border, because the Biden administration is charging us with murder,” he said.

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The Department of Homeland Security criticized Abbott's policies on Saturday as being outside of everyday politics.

“The Texas governor's policies are cruel, dangerous and inhumane, and Texas' blatant disregard for federal authority over immigration poses serious risks,” it said. “The State of Texas must stop the US Border Patrol from interfering with US law enforcement.”

A CPB spokesperson echoed similar sentiments Saturday: “We are saddened by the migrant drownings at Eagle Pass. We are deeply troubled by actions that prevent the U.S. Border Patrol from doing their essential work of apprehending people entering the U.S. illegally and providing humanitarian. Response to people in need.”

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