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Legal Fight Brewing Between Texas, Feds Over Fronton Island

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Story by TIM SULLIVAN

Another court battle appears to be brewing between Texas and the federal government – this one over ownership of an island in the Rio Grande.

The 170-acre Fronton Island sits in the river across from Roma, and last October, the state of Texas claimed ownership under the Operation Lone Star border security initiative.

Claiming it was being used by a Mexican cartel as a staging ground for immigrant and drug smuggling, Texas National Guard troops clear-cut the island and put up concertina wire. But a historical investigation by the International Boundary and Water Commission shows the island has long been federal property.

The IBWC has sent a letter to Texas stating it has jurisdiction. The commissioner of the Texas General Land Office has written back saying the state will not be backing down

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