Texas Representative Joaquin Castro (D) led a group of over 80 House members calling on President Joe Biden (D) to intervene in “Operation Lone Star”.
Rep. Castro was joined by several Texas representatives including Colin Allred (D), Vicente Gonzalez (D), Sheila Jackson Lee (D), Al Green (D), Veronica Escobar (D), Sylvia Garcia (D) and Greg Casar (D).
“We write to express our profound alarm over border policies instituted by Texas Governor Greg Abbott that are putting asylum-seekers at serious risk of injury and death, interfering with federal immigration enforcement, infringing on private property rights, and violating U.S. treaty commitments with Mexico,” said the House members.
The representatives asked the Biden administration to put an end to Gov. Abbott’s policies.
“We urge you to assert your authority over federal immigration policy and foreign relations and investigate and pursue legal action, as appropriate, related to stop Governor Abbott’s dangerous and cruel actions.”
The letter states that Abbott’s Operation Lone Star “resulted in hundreds of unlawful arrests and egregious human rights violations.” Moreover, it claims that his actions have gotten much worse.
The members state that “Texas state troopers [were] illegally erecting a makeshift buoy wall and placing sharp razor wire in the Rio Grande River, creating death traps for migrants and violating U.S. treaty commitments with Mexico.”
State troopers “were given orders to push the people back into the water to go to Mexico.” Reports show that medics were also told to push migrants back into the water, including a 4-year-old girl who’d passed out from the 100 degree weather.
The statement also alleges that the “wire on the Rio Grande riverbank near Eagle Pass reduces visibility to the river, adversely affecting CBP’s ability to interdict individuals crossing between ports of entry.”
“Operation Lone Star is clearly hurting the efforts of CBP to enforce U.S. immigration laws,” reads the statement.
The letter also questions the legality of Operation Lone Star’s practices.
“The placement of razor wire and inflatable buoys in the Rio Grande River is potentially illegal and may violate multiple bilateral treaties between the United States and Mexico, including the Boundary Treaty of 1970 and the Mexican Water Treaty of 1944.”
The Castro led group pointed to an example of Arizona Governor Doug Ducey (R) trying similar tactics.
“A similar attempt to create a makeshift border by Governor Ducey in Arizona was abandoned earlier this year after Department of Justice filed suit against the State of Arizona.”
The letter ends with the members asking for Biden to put an end to the dangerous and potentially illegal actions taking place in Operation Lone Star.
“Given these considerations, we ask that you immediately intervene to stop Governor Greg Abbott’s actions and, as appropriate, pursue legal action given the serious and credible allegations of harm to migrants, interference in the federal enforcement of immigration laws, and violations of treaty commitments with Mexico,” reads the letter.
“Operation Lone Star’s programs and policies, specifically the recent erection of razor wire or buoy walls, pose a huge danger to migrants and impedes the ability of our border patrol offices to safely and humanely treat migrants as well as to comply with relevant federal and international laws. As Governor Abbott continues to escalate his efforts on the border, we urge you to take the above actions and stop this horrific abuse of power.”
Operation Lone Star continues to be criticized by lawmakers and citizens around the country. And, given its possible illegality, it seems as if this unpopular legislation will face even more opposition.