DALLAS (NewsNation) — The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) is looking into allegations of mistreatment of migrants at the Texas-Mexico border in Eagle Pass and is actively working with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and other agencies to assess the situation.
It stems from an email sent by a Texas DPS trooper to his superior, where he expressed concern about alleged orders to push migrants back into the Rio Grande River and deny them drinking water during extreme heat.
In response to the allegations, Texas lawmakers requested the DOJ investigate as soon as they were informed about the incidents. The Texas Office of Inspector General is also looking into the claims.
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre also commented on the matter.
“If they are true, they are abhorrent, despicable. It is dangerous and we’re talking about the bedrock values of who we are as a country and the human indecency we are seeing,” Jean-Pierre said.
Texas DPS stated that these orders don’t align with its policies and no such orders were issued. Rather, its troopers assist migrants. A Texas DPS spokesperson shared a video on Twitter, showcasing a trooper who carried a teenager from Venezuela with ankle injuries.
Officials have said that there may have been some misinterpretation of directives, as a significant number of new troopers have been deployed to the border.
“I can tell you for a fact at no point our troopers have placed their hands on a migrant and forcefully pushed them back into the river. That’s not the objective of what we are doing,” said Texas DPS Lt. Chris Olivarez.
Additionally, lawmakers are calling on the Justice and State Departments to investigate the 1,000-foot buoy barrier being constructed by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott in the Rio Grande, as they allege it’s a violation of international law.
The Houston Chronicle reports Texas has allegedly disregarded requests made by the State Department for information regarding the project. As a result, Mexico has filed a complaint and is requesting the removal of the buoys.
Texas DPS claims that the purpose of these buoys is to act as a deterrent, preventing migrants from crossing the Rio Grande and illegally entering the U.S.