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DOJ assessing migrant treatment along Texas border following ‘troubling reports’

Migrants walks along concertina wire past a guardsman after crossing the Rio Grande from Mexico near the site where large buoys are being deployed to be used as a border barrier in Eagle Pass, Texas, Wednesday, July 12, 2023. The floating barrier is being deployed in an effort to block migrants from entering Texas from Mexico. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

Federal officials are looking into recent reports of mistreatment of migrants along the Texas portion of the U.S.-Mexico border by Texas troopers.

Department of Justice spokeswoman Xochitl Hinojosa said the department is assessing the reports, which included claims of refusal of water to migrants as well as pushing them back into the Rio Grande to go back to Mexico.

The reports come from an email the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) shared with The Hill and other media outlets. The correspondence detailed a state trooper-medic’s concerns from time working on the Eagle Pass portion of the border. He was there from late June into early July, according to reporting from CNN.

“The department is aware of the troubling reports, and we are working with DHS and other relevant agencies to assess the situation,” Hinojosa said.

The Texas DPS confirmed to The Hill on Tuesday that the Texas Office of Inspector General is investigating the reports.

“There is not a directive or policy that instructs Troopers to withhold water from migrants or push them back into the river,” the Texas DPS told The Hill.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) released a joint statement with other high-ranking Texas officials stating that “no orders or directions have been given under Operation Lone Star that would compromise the lives of those attempting to cross the border illegally.” Abbot created Operation Lone Star to “combat the smuggling of people and drugs into Texas.” The operation began in 2021.

“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 joint statement continued.


(c) 2023, The Hill


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