WASHINGTON, D.C. — A Texas Department of Public Safety trooper has alleged that he and his colleagues were told to push migrant children into the Rio Grande and not to give water to asylum seekers even in extreme heat, among other disturbing claims. The story was first reported in the Houston Chronicle.
Over the weekend, the director of the state Department of Public Safety acknowledged an increase in injuries from razor wire along the border and also sought an audit to determine if the risk to migrants can be reduced. The office of Gov. Greg Abbott (R), meanwhile, doubled down on the state’s deterrence-based approach, the Chronicle reports.
“As facts continue to emerge, let’s be clear that we’re talking about human beings whose safety is at stake,” said Jennie Murray, President and CEO of the National Immigration Forum. “This disturbing report follows news of parents and children drowning in the Rio Grande earlier this month as they attempted to cross into the United States. We must find ways to honor and respect human dignity at the same time we prioritize order at the border.
“Our laws allow for migrants to present themselves at the border to seek asylum. We should make sure that we don’t needlessly put them in additional danger. Disturbing reports will continue until Democrats and Republicans update our federal laws and provide safer alternatives for migrants seeking relief in the U.S.”