U.S. Congressman Henry Cuellar, Ph.D. (TX-28) issued a statement on January 13, 2024, expressing deep concern over the recent death of three migrants near Shelby Park in Eagle Pass. The victims included a female adult and two children who drowned in the Rio Grande River.
According to Congressman Cuellar, Border Patrol received information on Friday, January 12, 2024, around 9:00 P.M., that a group of six migrants was in distress while attempting to cross the Rio Grande River. Attempts to contact the Texas Military Department, the Texas National Guard, and DPS Command Post by phone were unsuccessful. Subsequently, Border Patrol agents physically approached the Texas Military Department and the Texas National Guard at the Shelby Park Entrance Gate, verbally relaying the information. However, access to the migrants was denied, even in the face of an emergency. The Texas Military Department stated they would send a soldier to investigate the situation.
Tragically, the bodies of the three migrants were recovered by Mexican authorities on Saturday, January 13, 2024. Congressman Cuellar highlighted that Border Patrol personnel had been forced out of Shelby Park earlier in the week by the Texas National Guard under the directive of Governor Abbott. In this specific incident, access to the migrants was not granted by the Texas Military Department and the Texas National Guard, a situation that Congressman Cuellar characterized as a tragedy, holding the State responsible for the unfortunate outcome.