A Texas congressman says that three people, including two children, who were seeking asylum in the U.S. drowned while trying to enter near the border city of Eagle Pass, where the Biden administration says Texas has begun denying access to border patrol agents, the Guardian reports. Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-TX) accused the state of failing to act amid escalating tensions between Texas and the U.S. government over immigration enforcement. Cuellar said the people who drowned were a mother and her two children, an eight-year-old girl and a 10-year-old boy. “This is a tragedy, and the state bears responsibility,” said Cuellar, the top Democrat on the House appropriations committee’s subcommittee on homeland security.
On Friday, the Justice Department told the U.S. Supreme Court that Texas had taken control of an area known as Shelby Park and were not letting border patrol agents enter. The park is in Eagle Pass, which is a major crossing point for migrants entering from Mexico and is the center of Gov. Greg Abbott's aggressive attempts to stop illegal crossings, known as Operation Lone Star. People crossing the river in that area have been killed when swept away by currents of the Rio Grande. Cuellar, whose district includes the Texas border, said Mexican authorities alerted border patrol of three people in distress struggling in the river. He said federal agents attempted to relay the information to Texas National Guard members at Shelby with no success.