“I believe we have stepped over a line into the inhumane,” a trooper wrote of Greg Abbott’s Operation Lone Star initiative.
Officers are objecting to Governor Greg Abbott’s border patrol policies, with one calling them ‘inhumane’ as they are ordered to push small children and nursing babies back into the Rio Grande.
“Officers working for Gov. Greg Abbott’s border security initiative have been ordered to push small children and nursing babies back into the Rio Grande, and have been told not to give water to asylum seekers even in extreme heat, according to an email from a Department of Public Safety trooper who described the actions as ‘inhumane,’” San Antonio Express-News reported in an exclusive.
You probably think you’ve heard all a person can possibly hear about Abbott’s lack of humanity (like how half a million Texans have lost their Medicaid coverage since April), but unfortunately, you have not. Several of the accounts listed in the email from the Officer to a superior were newly reported incidents reviewed by Hearst Newspapers.
As part of Abbott’s border initiative, Texas has deployed buoys and razor wire on the Rio Grande River near Eagle Pass. The officer “suggests that Texas has set ‘traps’ of razor wire-wrapped barrels in parts of the river with high water and low visibility” which has “increased the risk of drownings by forcing migrants into deeper stretches of the river.”
The trooper’s email called for several policy changes including “removing the barrels and revoking the directive on withholding water.”
Yes, the officers are told to withhold water, according to this trooper, but the Department of Public Safety spokesman Travis Considin denied that this is a policy.
“Due to the extreme heat, the order to not give people water needs to be immediately reversed as well,” the trooper wrote, later adding: “I believe we have stepped over a line into the inhumane.”
If the job of pushing suffering human beings, including children and nursing babies, back into the Rio Grande in 100+ degree heat knowing they are exhausted and need water seems soul-crushing and barbaric, that’s because it is. It’s so bad that troopers are questioning orders and trying to avoid carrying them out.
These stories are just impossibly heart-breaking but they need to be heard. Here are just two of the four enumerated in the exclusive.
The email says on June 30, Texas Guard soldiers were ordered to push back a group of people, including a 4-year-old girl, who tried to cross the wire.”The DPS trooper wrote that the temperature was ‘well over 100 degrees’ and the girl passed out from exhaustion.”
Then this. On June 25, troopers called command to question the order to push a group of “exhausted, hungry and tired” people including several small children and babies who were nursing “back into the water to go to Mexico.”
Imagine having this on your soul: The troopers knew this action would have the real possibility of exhausted people drowning, and felt it was therefore not the right thing to do.
So: “They called command again and expressed their concerns and were given the order to ‘tell them to go to Mexico and get into our vehicle and leave,’ the trooper wrote. After they left, other troopers worked with Border Patrol to provide care to the migrants, the email said.”
The email revealed new information about previously reported drownings, “including a mother and at least one of her two children… a DPS boat found the mother and one of the children… later declared deceased at the hospital. The second child was never found, the email said.”
“I raised the issue of @GovAbbott’s barbarity at a dinner tonight with @SecBlinken. I read him the title and first paragraph of the @ExpressNews article and urged the Administration to intervene — and to remove the death traps Abbott has installed for the sake of human rights,” Rep. Joaquin Castro wrote above the story.
On June 26, the Mexican government sent a diplomatic complaint to the U.S. over Abbott’s floating barriers.
No party has managed to “fix” the border problem, but one thing that distinguishes the two parties is that the Democratic Party tries to prioritize human rights. They don’t always get it right and it matters no matter who is getting it wrong. But even with all of that said, Greg Abbott has taken things to such a repulsive, inhumane low that border officers are objecting.
As of yet, there has been no word from the federal government about how they are going to try to stop this newest assault on humanity by Abbott. One thing we do know is that House Republicans have been actively trying to make things worse at the border by refusing to give the administration resources and funding to address the migrant crisis. Part of the Biden administration’s plan involves the Pentagon sending 1500 troops to support Border Patrol, to which Greg Abbott responded that they didn’t need 1500 troops to support the border, they needed more than that and he further accused Biden of sending the 1500 troops to do paperwork. (Bizarre framing, unsupported by evidence.)
Abbott’s 2022 executive order on the border “appears to be invoking war powers as the basis for rounding up migrants and asylum-seekers,” according to an analysis by Just Security.
Morally, this is where the Republican Party is on migrants, as Beto O’Rouke observed, “Abbott you are a thug. A murderer. A ghoul. People are dying while you play war-games against defenseless mothers and children. Pro life my ass!!”
War-games against women and children.
Ordering officers who are supposed to uphold the law to shove nursing babies back into the water evinces an alarming loss of humanity. The “Nuremberg defense” of “I was just following orders” is not an acceptable moral defense and is also an unreliable, dubious legal defense.
We have more than enough information at this point to determine that the folks who claim abortion is murder but deny that shoving an exhausted, nursing baby back into the Rio Grande is actual murder do not actually care about “life” at all.
“Life” is not actually a value in this conservative Republican Party; it is merely a tool with which to beat the opposition, suppress women and minorities, and to maliciously and deliberately disregard in favor of inhumane cruelty.
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