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Investigations Against DPS Troopers Currently Underway

A state trooper’s claims that superiors ordered officers at the border in Eagle Pass to push migrants back into the Rio Grande and deny them water has sparked a state investigation, the Texas Department of Public Safety stated Tuesday.

The trooper also reported that razor wire deployed by troopers has injured people — including a woman who had a miscarriage while entangled in the wire.

Travis Considine, a DPS spokesperson, said in an email that the Office of the Inspector General, which investigates claims of misconduct by state employees, “is investigating the allegations made in the email in question.”

The trooper, who works as a medic, sent the email to a sergeant on July 3 detailing some of the things he witnessed while on patrol in Eagle Pass — where Gov. Greg Abbott recently ordered the deployment of a floating barrier in the Rio Grande to deter migrant crossings.

The trooper said in the email that he was out on patrol around 10 p.m. June 25 when he and other troopers came across a group of about 120 people, including small children and nursing babies, who were “exhausted, hungry and tired” along a fence line on the U.S. side.

The trooper wrote in the email that five days later, a 4-year-old girl who attempted to cross the razor wire “was pressed back by Texas Guard soldiers due to the orders given to them.” The temperature “was well over 100 degrees” and the girl passed out, the email said, adding that she had received medical treatment.

A pecan farm owner in Eagle Pass told the Chronicle that officials working for Abbott’s border security operation refused to take down razor wire on his property, despite his multiple requests. The farmer, Hugo Urbina, said many people, including a pregnant teenager, have been injured by the wire that the state installed against his wishes. DPS told the Chronicle that under a border-related disaster declaration the governor signed in 2021, the state can use private property without the owner’s permission.

Adriana Martinez, an associate professor of geography at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville who studies the effects of border barriers on the Rio Grande, said that immigrant rights advocates have been warning Abbott that his deterrence policies would not work and in some cases would make things worse.


Author: Ethan Klein

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