Texas will build camp for National Guard members in border city of Eagle Pass

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McALLEN, Texas (AP) — Texas will build an operations base for up to 1,800 National Guard members in Eagle Pass, expanding the presence of soldiers in the border city where the state has clashed with the Biden administration over immigration enforcement, Republican Gov. Greg Abbott announced Friday.

The 80-acre property along the Rio Grande will open a short distance from Shelby Park, the riverfront area where Texas National Guard members have installed miles of razor wire and began denying access to U.S. Border Patrol agents.

“This will increase the ability for a larger number of Texas military department personnel in Eagle Pass to operate more effectively and more efficiently,” Abbott said.

Abbott said the camp will improve living conditions for soldiers who are deployed to the U.S.-Mexico border, an issue that troubled the Guard’s mission during the early months of Operation Lone Star.

The camp will be constructed in phases of 300 beds every 30 days with the first phase expected to be completed by April, said Maj. General Suelzer, the head of the Texas Military Department. The complex will include three command posts, weapons storage rooms and a helicopter pad, he said.

Texas officials continue to seize control of Shelby Park, north of the campgrounds, as part of Abbott’s expanding border mission. The mayor of Eagle Pass said the move at the start of January caught the city off guard and questioned the timing, given that crossings have fallen in recent weeks.

The U.S. Justice Department last month asked the U.S. Supreme Court to order Texas to allow Border Patrol agents back into park. The Biden administration says Border Patrol agents use the park to monitor the river and to launch boats into the Rio Grande.

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