Lawmakers react to allegations of migrant mistreatment along Texas border

DPS trooper who witnessed injured migrants details concerns in 900-word email

SAN ANTONIO – Accusations of inhumane treatment of migrants crossing the Texas border have sparked outrage among elected officials and national organizations.

Reports come after a Texas Department of Public Safety trooper with Operation Lone Star called the treatment of migrants at the border inhumane. He wrote a 900-word email to his supervisor recalling what he witnessed from June 24 to July 1.

In one incident, he asked his commanding officer what to do, saying, “We were given orders to push the people back into the water to go to Mexico.”

In another instance, he told a story about coming across a 19-year-old woman stuck in razor wire. The trooper added the woman was pregnant and having a miscarriage.

“This is barbaric and inhumane, and simply it’s evil,” said U.S. D Rep Sylvia Garcia.

“It has nothing to do with border security, this border insanity,” said U.S. D Rep Marc Veasey.

“All of this represents a new despicable low,” said U.S. D Rep Lloyd Doggett.

Many Democratic congressional delegation members of Texas reacted to the allegations against operation lone star.

Republican Tony Gonzales also issued a statement on the allegation.

“Border security should not equal a lack of humanity. As a father of six, I find it disturbing for anyone, much less a child, to be deprived of water in 100-degree weather, regardless of their immigration status. We are a nation of laws, which means illegal immigration should absolutely be deterred. I applaud our law enforcement officers on the front lines for working so hard to that end,” said Gonzales. “We are also a nation that believes in basic human dignity, and there is a fine line between cracking down on bad actors and issuing harsh life-threatening directives that can cause harm to children and vulnerable families.”

National president of the League of the United Latin American citizen, Domingo Garcia, stated strong borders are needed, but moral values cannot be compromised.

“We cannot be for inhumanity; we cannot be for murder; we cannot be for aggravated assault. The blood of those five migrants that died last week, It’s on you, Governor Abbott,” said Garcia.

Many of those reacting asked for a swift investigation by the Department of Justice, including State Senator Roland Gutierrez, who sent this statement.

“What is happening at our southern border is not security in any sense of the word. This is cruelty inflicted by a governor that has failed to keep Texans safe. I am calling for a swift investigation into this matter by the U.S. Department of Justice and for the Federal authorities to shut down Abbott’s unconstitutional rogue operation,” said Gutierrez.

Abbott’s office on Tuesday afternoon issued a joint statement from Texas Border Czar Mike Banks, Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steve McCraw, and Texas Adjutant General Major General Thomas Suelzer regarding the allegations.

“No orders or directions have been given under Operation Lone Star that would compromise the lives of those attempting to cross the border illegally. The Texas Department of Public Safety and Texas Military Department continue taking steps to monitor migrants in distress, provide appropriate medical attention when needed, and encourage them to use one of the 29 international bridges along the Texas-Mexico Border where they can safely and legally cross,” the statement said. “All personnel assigned to Operation Lone Star are prepared to detect and respond to any individuals who may need water or medical attention.”

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About the Authors:

John Paul Barajas is a reporter at KSAT 12. Previously, he worked at KRGV 5 in the Rio Grande Valley. He has a degree from the University of Houston. In his free time, he likes to get a workout in, spend time on the water and check out good eats and drinks.

Joe Arredondo is a photojournalist at KSAT 12.