Criticism Mounts as Texas Trooper’s Testimony Reveals Mistreatment of Migrants on US-Mexico Border

by Chloe Baker
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migrant mistreatment

Texas Governor Greg Abbott is facing a fresh wave of criticism regarding his increasingly stringent measures to deter migrants along the US-Mexico border. The scrutiny intensified after a state trooper disclosed that migrants, including women and children, were left bloodied due to encounters with razor-wire barriers. Additionally, orders were allegedly given to deny water to individuals in scorching temperatures.

According to Texas Trooper Nicholas Wingate’s account, on June 25, he and another trooper were instructed to forcibly push a group of 120 migrants, which included young children and nursing mothers, back into Mexico. In an email dated July 3, Wingate described these actions as inhumane.

Travis Considine, a spokesperson for the Texas Department of Safety, stated that the trooper’s claims were being internally investigated. He emphasized that the department neither has a directive nor a policy to withhold water from migrants or push them into the river.

The emails, initially obtained by Hearst Newspapers, have thrust Texas’ expansive border security mission, known as Operation Lone Star, back into the spotlight. Governor Abbott has allocated over $4 billion for this mission, which involves the installation of a new floating barrier on the Rio Grande, as well as the transportation of thousands of migrants to cities led by Democratic authorities and their subsequent arrests on trespassing charges.

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre condemned the trooper’s account, calling it “abhorrent” and “dangerous.” Democrats in the Texas Capitol expressed their intention to investigate the matter, emphasizing the importance of upholding the fundamental values of the country and decrying the demonstrated lack of humanity.

While a spokesperson for the Department of Homeland Security denounced the reported actions, no statement was made regarding the agency’s plan to investigate the allegations.

Republican Representative Tony Gonzales, whose extensive congressional district encompasses the border region, tweeted that border security should not come at the expense of humanity.

In one instance recounted by Trooper Wingate, Texas National Guard soldiers pressed back a 4-year-old girl who was attempting to cross through razor wire, leading her to later faint from the heat. Maverick County Sheriff Tom Schmerber, who has supported the state’s deployment of personnel to the border, expressed his disagreement with the reported actions, asserting that causing harm to anyone, regardless of their immigration status, is not part of their mission to protect and serve.

At the time of reporting, Wingate had not responded to an email seeking comment, and the Texas Military Department had not provided an immediate comment.

In response to growing concern and outrage surrounding the trooper’s testimony, Governor Abbott’s office issued a statement clarifying that no orders compromising the lives of those attempting to cross the border illegally had been given. The statement did not address Wingate’s specific accounts but defended the overall border mission, stating that the presence of tools such as razor wire was necessary to deter potentially life-threatening and unlawful crossings.

The email correspondence with the trooper included a log documenting 38 encounters between June 25 and July 1, where migrants required medical assistance due to various ailments ranging from weakness to lacerations, broken limbs, and even drownings. Among those affected, a dozen were infants under a year old.

Another incident described in the emails involved a 19-year-old woman who suffered cuts from the wire and experienced a miscarriage. The wire placement also resulted in other individuals sustaining cuts or broken bones, as highlighted in the email.

“We need to operate it correctly in the eyes of God,” Wingate wrote.

In response to Wingate’s testimony, Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steve McCraw sent an email affirming that prioritizing life necessitates rescuing migrants from harm, a commitment that will continue.

An additional email exchange obtained by The Big Big News, dated July 14, showed McCraw receiving pictures, originally sent by US Customs and Border Protection, depicting injuries caused by the sharp wire installed by Texas officials. The images included injuries requiring stitches and bloodied hands and legs.

Note: The original article has been modified for clarity, conciseness, and impartiality.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about migrant mistreatment

What is the main issue highlighted in the text?

The main issue highlighted in the text is the mistreatment of migrants on the US-Mexico border by Texas troopers, including allegations of using razor-wire barriers, denying water, and forcibly pushing migrants back into Mexico.

Are these allegations under investigation?

Yes, the allegations made by the Texas trooper are currently under internal investigation by the Texas Department of Safety.

Has the Texas Department of Safety provided any clarification or response to these allegations?

The department has stated that they do not have any directive or policy instructing troopers to withhold water from migrants or push them back into the river. However, they are investigating the trooper’s claims.

How has the incident been received by the public and officials?

The incident has received criticism and outrage from various quarters. The White House press secretary condemned the actions described by the trooper as abhorrent and dangerous. Democrats in the Texas Capitol have expressed their intention to investigate the matter further. Some Republican officials have also voiced concerns about the lack of humanity in border security measures.

Is there any statement from the Governor’s office?

The Governor’s office issued a statement clarifying that no orders compromising the lives of those attempting to cross the border illegally have been given. However, the statement did not specifically address the trooper’s accounts and defended the overall border mission as necessary to address the humanitarian crisis.

Will the Department of Homeland Security be conducting an investigation?

While the Department of Homeland Security has condemned the reported actions, there has been no official statement regarding whether they plan to investigate the allegations.

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