Texas Officials Must be Held Accountable for Dangerous, Inhumane Treatment of Immigrants

(San Antonio, Texas)—Texas officials and law enforcement continue to violate the rights of individuals and families seeking safety. According to a newspaper report, officials working for Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s border security initiative are ordering Department of State troopers to push children into the Rio Grande river, withhold water to migrants, and use barbed wire along the border to set “traps” for asylum seekers. These appalling tactics underscore the dangerous and inhumane policies being embraced by Texas leaders and they must be held accountable, the Immigrant Legal Resource Center (ILRC) said Tuesday.

The report, published exclusively by Hearst Newspapers, cites evidence in an email from a Department of Public Safety trooper to a superior detailing several incidents of such treatment. One incident involved a pregnant woman having a miscarriage who was caught in wire placed by DPS officials.

“Gov. Abbott has already expanded his war on immigrants, people of color and border residents to the state’s waterways,” said Senior Texas Strategist Carolina Canizales. “If he is left unchecked, his example will no doubt empower other hateful governors to employ similar policies. Florida has already enacted several hateful laws.”

Abbott’s Operation Lone Star (OLS), an unconstitutional and racist law enforcement operation targeting migrants for arrest, jail, and deportation, must be ended. Created in March 2021 by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and backed by nearly $5.1 billion of state funds, this scheme is designed to criminalize and rapidly deport migrants, many of whom are seeking safety in the U.S. OLS violates the Constitution, promotes racial profiling, fuels the mass incarceration of people of color, and encourages white supremacy rhetoric that is harmful to ALL Texans.

Since 2021, the ILRC has called on the Department of Justice to formally investigate OLS. The harms of OLS continue to increase against asylum seekers and Texans living in border communities. We continue to demand an end to OLS and to U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) collaboration in this illegal and inhumane scheme. The Biden administration must stop using its resources to aid OLS, and, prevent individuals from accessing their right to asylum.


The Immigrant Legal Resource Center (ILRC) is a national nonprofit that works with immigrants, community organizations, legal professionals, and policy makers to build a democratic society that values diversity and the rights of all people. Through community education programs, legal training & technical assistance, and policy development & advocacy, the ILRC works to protect and defend the fundamental rights of immigrant families and communities.