Democratic reps call for investigation into Texas border policy
Democratic representatives are calling on Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland to investigate Texas’s border policies.
The letter, led by Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-Texas), calls for a federal investigation into the Operation Lone Star program started by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) to handle illegal immigration.
“We ask that the Department of Justice (DOJ) review and investigate Governor Abbott’s Operation Lone Star program regarding both its likely violation of the Supremacy Clause and its treatment of migrants, especially in regards to an individual’s constitutional right to due process,” states the letter, signed by 25 other Democratic representatives.
The letter says Texas has been overwhelmed by the program, with some migrants sitting in prison for weeks without an attorney due to backlog.
It also states that Abbott’s program has illegally separated families at the border, against federal policy.
“In addition, we ask that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) provide clarity on the immigration process for individuals subjected to the Operation Lone Star program. We also request that DHS provide migrants who enter into its custody after their release from state custody with timely and regular telephone access so that they can inform their loved ones and attorneys of their location,” the letter continues.
Texas has used state police, law enforcement from other states and the state’s National Guard to implement the program.
Operation Lone Star has led to the apprehension of illegal drugs and the arrest of tens of thousands, the Texas Department of Public Safety and Texas Military Department said, NBC News reported.
“Texans deserve to have the rule of law enforced on the Texas border, and that is exactly what Governor Abbott is doing,” a spokesperson for Abbott said in a statement emailed to NBC. “Governor Abbott is addressing this crisis head-on to protect Texans and Americans alike, initiating a comprehensive border security plan and launching Operation Lone Star to combat the smuggling of people and drugs.”
“Until President Biden and his Administration do their job to enforce the laws of our nation and protect Americans, the State of Texas will continue stepping up to secure our border and protect our communities,” the spokesperson added.