SAN ANTONIO – Reports of alleged mistreatment of migrants at the Texas border has prompted a state investigation and calls by some lawmakers for Gov. Greg Abbott to end his border enforcement initiative Operation Lone Star.
Those allegations were made public Monday through a media report that cited emails from a DPS trooper. The trooper outlined multiple incidents in which migrants were injured due to new concertina wire and razor-wire bouys in the Rio Grande.
KSAT has obtained those emails and photos that show injuries sustained by migrants.
The email from the DPS trooper who witnessed the injured migrants was dated July 3 and details some of the concerns he encountered while on patrol.
The trooper said that around 10 p.m. on June 25, his team encountered 120 migrants who were camped out along a fence line. The group, which included several small children and nursing babies, were hungry and tired.
The team then called the shift officer in command for direction on what to do next and were told “to push the people back into the water to go to Mexico.”
After refusing to obey the order, the team expressed their concerns and were ordered to tell the migrants to go to Mexico and leave The scene. The team then left and coordinated with Border patrol to get the migrants processed.
The email also detailed four incidents on June 30 that troubled the trooper.
The incidents included a 4-year-old girl who tried to cross a casualty wire and was pushed back by Texas National Guard soldiers. The girl ended up passing out due to exhaustion in the searing heat.
The trooper also saw a man with a laceration to his leg in the casualty wire while trying to help a child who was stuck in the wire, a 15-year-old boy with a broken leg, a pregnant 19-year-old who was having a miscarriage and had to be cut out of the wire.
In the email, the trooper said that he understood that the border needs to be secured from “bad people,” but that Operation Lone Star had “stepped over a line into the inhumane.”
He added that “We need to operate it correctly in the eyes of God. We need to recognize that these are people who are made in the image of God and need to be treated as such.”
On July 15, DPS Director Col. Steven McCraw sent an email to DPS officials regarding the rise of injuries to migrants by the concertina wire deployed along the Rio Grande.
In the email, McCraw tells the team that migrants need to be reminded about the dangers of the wire with signage and verbal warnings.
McCraw also said that migrants need to be closely watched “in order to detect anyone who may be in need of water rescue and or medical attention and that we are prepared to respond.”
He ends the email by saying that a comprehensive review of medical procedures should be done to determine if improvements can be made.
Travis Considine, a DPS spokesperson, said in an email that the Office of the Inspector General, which investigates claims of misconduct by state employees, “is investigating the allegations made in the email in question.”