Once again, the Biden White House and its media mouthpieces have promoted a false claim about the southwest border and, by the time it was debunked, the American public had already been misled.
On Friday, the White House put out a statement accusing the Texas National Guard of preventing U.S. Border Patrol from saving three illegal immigrants from drowning:
“On Friday night, a woman and two children drowned near Eagle Pass, and Texas officials blocked U.S. Border Patrol from attempting to provide emergency assistance.”
But, as Fox News Correspondent Bill Melugin reported in a social media post on Monday, “The Biden administration once again pushed a false narrative at the border, now refuted by their own DOJ. White House claim”:
”This, like the [debunked] horseback patrol ‘whipping’ claims - took off as a false narrative, generating headlines that claimed Texas blocked a federal rescue effort, leading to the drownings of three migrants. The DOJ now confirms, those migrants had been deceased for an hour before Texas was even alerted about it.”
Indeed, as a DOJ filing with the Supreme Court cited by Melugin attests, the three migrants had been dead for an hour before the Texas National Guard had been alerted and U.S. Border Patrol tried to enter the area they were being banned from:
“On January 12, 2024, at approximately 9:00 p.m., Mexican officials advised Border Patrol of two migrants in distress on the U.S. side of the river in the area near the Shelby Park boat ramp. App., infra, 2a. Mexican officials also informed Border Patrol that three migrants -- one woman and two children -- had drowned at approximately 8:00 p.m. in the same area.
“An Acting Supervisory Border Patrol Agent went to the Shelby Park entrance gate and informed the guardsmen from the Texas National Guard stationed there of the drowned migrants and the migrants in distress.”
A Texas Dept. of Public Safety spokesman also debunked the Biden narrative:
“As reported, the drownings occurred at 8pm, but authorities in Mexico did not advise #USBP until 9pm - one hour after the incident. This completely discredits all reporting that prematurely criticized Texas without having factual information.
“Unfortunately, the loss of life will continue to occur as long as illegal immigrants are encouraged to cross a dangerous river illegally. Former #USBP Chief @rodneyscottbp summed it up in one sentence, ‘no one has drowned at a LEGAL port of entry.’ Texas will remain steadfast in deterring illegal border crossings & performing rescue operations.”
“As usual, we told the truth, & the Biden Admin lied for their anti-Abbott propaganda,” the Border Patrol Union replied to the post, blasting the media’s dishonest reporting:
“MSM (mainstream media) ran with this lying propaganda like the Biden puppets they are.”
“Pure propaganda, made up by the Biden Admin and disseminated by their MSM minions,” the Border agents’ union followed up, responding to a CBS News report that “Texas ‘physically barred’ Border Patrol agents from trying to rescue migrants who drowned, federal officials say”:
“See how this works yet America? MSM doesn’t cross-check Biden Admin propaganda and publishes it as fact. We would have told them this wasn’t true but they don’t want the truth. Disgraceful.”
While some media outlets have “updated” their stories to include the DOJ’s filing, headlines claiming that Texas is responsible for the drownings had already had their impact over the weekend.
Some, like this headline from ABC News, still claim the migrants died after Biden’s Border Patrol tried to enter the area:
“DHS claims Border Patrol blocked by Texas from entering area to rescue migrants who later drowned”
Texas Public Radio is also continuing to promote the discredited narrative:
“CBP: Three migrants drown in Rio Grande after Texas blocks Border Patrol from rescue”
And, while a story published by Barron’s now includes “UPDATES with Texas response,” there's no mention of the DOJ's Supreme Court filing, and the headline still declares:
“US Says Texas Guard Blocked Bid To Rescue Migrants Crossing River”