Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) Chair Nanette Barragán (CA-44) and CHC Texas Representatives Joaquin Castro (TX-20), Vicente Gonzalez (TX-34), Sylvia Garcia (TX-29), Veronica Escobar (TX-16), Henry Cuellar (TX-28), and Greg Casar (TX-35) lead CHC Members to demand the Department of Justice (DOJ) and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) investigate the State of Texas and the Texas Department of Public Safety for impeding Border Patrol from performing its duties at Eagle Pass, Texas, following the drowning of a mother and her children.
Migrant families and children are harmed every day by Governor Abbott’s malicious and inhumane immigration policies, “said CHC Chairwoman Nanette Barragán. “The Governor continues to ignore federal immigration law and the Supreme Court as he cuts-off U.S. Border Patrol from access to the border and continues to install razor wire along the southern border. These desperate political stunts are wholly un-American and will do nothing to solve the real issues that plague our border. The DOJ and DHS must conduct a full and thorough investigation to stop these horrific policies and save lives.
“Governor Abbott and the Texas Department of Public Safety are intentionally creating a dangerous situation for migrant families and Border Patrol agents who are just trying to do their jobs,” said Congressman Joaquin Castro. “Governor Abbott’s border operation is a multi-billion-dollar waste of taxpayer money and a transparent attempt to distract from his complete failure to meet the everyday needs of Texas families. I’m grateful to my colleagues in the Congressional Hispanic Caucus for using their powerful voices to push the Biden administration to end Governor Abbott’s standoff and rebuild a functioning immigration system.”
“How many lives will it take for Governor Abbott to stop his political games?” said Congressman Vicente Gonzalez. “These actions continue his racist agenda of death and destruction along the Southern Border. Texas needs real, long-term solutions that address our broken immigration system and adequately prepare our border authorities for migration surges. Instead of trampling on our country’s federalism to get headlines and score political points, Governor Abbott and other rogue governors need to let U.S. Border Patrol do their job while Congress works to pass an agreement that strengthens and secures our border in a humane and orderly way.”
“The lawless reign of Greg Abbott and Operation Lone Star must come to an end,” said Congresswoman Sylvia Garcia. “Make no mistake, a mother and her children drowned because of his evil ways and lust for power. Their deaths were directly caused by his reckless disregard for human life, the rule of law and the constitution. His political stunts obstruct federal officials, and create a crisis for cameras. This is why I’m joining Chair Barragán to send a letter to the Justice Department and the Department of Homeland Security to investigate Abbott and his enablers for his obstruction of federal law enforcement officers. We cannot let Abbott continue violating orders of the Supreme Court and our federal institutions. His shallow and blatant disregard for human life must stop now.”
“Greg Abbott has continued to use political stunts to advance his own agenda, violating the Constitution and endangering both U.S. citizens and asylum seekers,” Congressman Greg Casar. “Abbott is following the Donald Trump playbook: make immigration harder and more dangerous, so asylum seekers are pushed into the hands of cartels and the system remains broken. Let’s be clear, immigration is a good thing. We can create an immigration system that is safe, orderly, and humane — but that’s the opposite of what Abbott and Trump want.”
In addition to all six of the Texas CHC Members and Chair Barragán, the letter is signed by: Reps. Nydia Velazquez, Luis Correa, Raul Grijalva, Jesus Garcia, Teresa Leger Fernandez. Yadira Caraveo, Grace Napolitano, Juan Vargas, Tony Cardenas, Salud Carbajal, Linda Sanchez, Robert Garcia, Gabe Vasquez, Gregorio Sablan, Adriano Espaillat.
On August 15, 2023, CHC sent a letter to both DOJ and DHS that raised concerns about Governor Abbott’s increasingly malicious tactics of installing large buoys with nets and razor-sharp defense mechanisms and razor wire barriers to prevent people from reaching safety through the Rio Grande.
These buoys were deemed illegal, and their removal was ordered by a federal appeals court in December 2023, Texas officials have refused to remove the buoys.
While the Supreme Court ordered for state officials to allow federal law enforcement to access the border, Texas State officials have continuously overstepped their authority. At the order of Governor Abbott, Texas places additional razor wire that prevents Border Patrol Agents to fulfill their duties — impeding federal law enforcement’s ability to carry out their work.