Jul 18, 2023 - News

Texas trooper details 'inhumane' border policies in on Rio Grande

Immigrants wade in the Rio Grande near a barbed wire barrier. Photo: Suzanne CordeiroAFP via Getty Images

Texas troopers working Greg Abbott's Operation Lone Star initiative were ordered to push young children into the Rio Grande River and not give immigrants water, according to internal emails exclusively reviewed by the Express-News and the Houston Chronicle.

What's happening: The July 3 email sent by a Department of Public Safety trooper to their superior details previously unreported incidents witnessed in Eagle Pass.

Context: Texas recently set up miles of barriers using barbed wire and buoys in the river, according to the Associated Press.

Threat level: In an email, the trooper reported that a pregnant woman having a miscarriage was caught in the wire in June, according to the newspapers.

  • It also said a 4-year old girl passed out from heat exhaustion as she attempted to pass the barrier and was pushed back by Texas National Guard soldiers.
  • A teen boy broke his leg trying to get around the barbed wire and had to be carried by his father.
  • The trooper also wrote that wire has increased the number of drownings by forcing immigrants into deeper parts of the water.

What they're saying: The trooper called for policy changes, including removing the barriers and calling back a directive to withhold water from immigrants.

  • "I believe we have stepped over a line into the inhumane," the trooper wrote in the email.

U.S. Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-Texas) responded to the report online, calling the directives an "absolutely monstrous, inhumane policy."

  • He said he was at dinner last night with U.S. Secretary of State Tony Blinken and shared the article with him, urging the Biden administration to intervene.

DPS spokesman Travis Considine responded to Axios' request for comment by emailing a link to a tweet he posted last night.

  • "Troopers give migrants water. They treat their wounds. They save them from drowning. They also do everything possible to deter them from risking their lives in the first place," his tweet says.
  • He also shared emails from DPS Director Steven McCraw on Saturday in which he called for an audit to find ways to reduce risks to immigrants.
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