Arizona’s Toma among those supporting Texas in border wire clash with Biden administration

Jan 29, 2024, 4:00 PM | Updated: 4:00 pm

Concertina wire lines the path as members of Congress tour an area near the Texas-Mexico border, Ja...

Concertina wire lines the path as members of Congress tour an area near the Texas-Mexico border, Jan. 3, 2024, in Eagle Pass, Texas. As congressional negotiators try to finalize a bipartisan deal on the border and immigration, their effort is drawing the wrath of hard-right lawmakers and former President Donald Trump. That vocal opposition threatens to unravel a delicate compromise. (AP Photo/Eric Gay, File)

(AP Photo/Eric Gay, File)

PHOENIX — Arizona House Speaker Ben Toma joined a coalition of 27 states supporting Texas in its clash with the Biden administration over razor wire barriers at the border intended to limit migration.

Toma, a Republican, said Monday he sided with Texas and Gov. Greg Abbott’s decision to not give Border Patrol agents access to Shelby Park, a riverfront park that is a popular corridor for migrants illegally entering the U.S.

Texas has installed rows of wire in the park and says more is being added after the Supreme Court cleared the way for Border Patrol agents to cut or remove the sharp metal barrier. The fencing has become one of Abbott’s most visible measures to deter migrants in the border city of Eagle Pass.

A letter supporting Texas’ efforts was sent to Biden on Monday.

“Texas has every right to defend itself from the unprecedented flow of illegal immigration, drug trafficking and countless threats at our southern border because of President Biden’s willful refusal to protect this nation,” Toma said in a statement.

Texas has accused the Biden administration of not doing enough to curb illegal crossings, even as numbers slightly improve.

Texas troopers and National Guard members have kept a large presence at Shelby Park since last summer, when thousands of migrants were crossing illegally crossing from Mexico. Crossings have decreased notably since the start of January, not only in Eagle Pass but elsewhere along the U.S.-Mexico border.

But nearly two weeks into the start of the year, the state told the Eagle Pass mayor that it would be closing access to Shelby Park. Mayor Rolando Salinas said in a video published on his social media that he was not given an explanation over the timing and was not aware of when the public would have access to the popular recreation area.

Texas told the Supreme Court the park was reopened to the public days after they shut it down, but the federal government expressed skepticism in its letter. The Biden administration requested access to the park, an area underneath a port of entry and a boat ramp.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

Persian New Year Festival...

Annual Persian New Year Festival adds fashion show, musical performance to schedule

This year's version of the Persian New Year Festival will feature three events over four days starting Feb. 28 in Scottsdale.

9 hours ago

42-year-old Joseph D. Eschief (left), 27-year-old Antonio N. Eschief and 46-year-old Selena Dewey. ...

4 people stabbed during early-morning melee at Scottsdale bar

A suspect is in custody after four people were stabbed early Saturday during a violent altercation at a bar in Scottsdale.

9 hours ago

Phoenix Fire...

Occupant dead after vehicular crash leads to flames in Phoenix

One person died and two others suffered non-life-threatening injuries after a vehicle crash sparked a fire in Phoenix, authorities said. 

10 hours ago

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump hugs and kisses the American flag a...

Associated Press

Trump calls himself a ‘proud political dissident’ in CPAC speech

In a CPAC speech, Trump painted an apocalyptic vision of the future if President Joe Biden wins again as the two prepare for a rematch.

11 hours ago

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump gestures to the audience after spea...

Associated Press

Donald Trump wins South Carolina GOP primary, beating Nikki Haley in her home state

Trump has now swept every contest that counted for Republican delegates, with wins already in Iowa, New Hampshire and Nevada.

12 hours ago

In this Sept. 30, 2011, file photo, solar panel installation continues at a rapid pace at the Mesqu...

Associated Press

Over 1 million Arizona customers to see rooftop solar fees increase

About 1.4 million customers in Arizona will be paying more for electricity now that regulators have approved a rate hike.

13 hours ago

Sponsored Articles


Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Valley residents should be mindful of plumbing ahead of holidays

With Halloween in the rear-view and more holidays coming up, Day & Night recommends that Valley residents prepare accordingly.


Sanderson Ford

The best ways to honor our heroes on Veterans Day and give back to the community

Veterans Day is fast approaching and there's no better way to support our veterans than to donate to the Military Assistance Mission.


Canvas Annuity

Interest rates may have peaked. Should you buy a CD, high-yield savings account, or a fixed annuity?

Interest rates are the highest they’ve been in decades, and it looks like the Fed has paused hikes. This may be the best time to lock in rates for long-term, low-risk financial products like fixed annuities.

Arizona’s Toma among those supporting Texas in border wire clash with Biden administration