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On the border


In the race to be the worst person in MAGA land, Greg Abbott continues to make a strong push:

E-mails shared with CNN by the Texas Department of Public Safety detail a trooper-medic expressing concerns to a supervisor over the “in humane [sic]” treatment of migrants along the border in Eagle Pass, Texas.

The trooper writes in the e-mail that they “were given orders to push the people back into the water to go to Mexico” and were also ordered not to give water to the migrants.

The e-mail is a report of weekly events and operational concerns from June 24 to July 1 while the officer worked as a trooper-medic. The e-mail was first reported by the Houston Chronicle on Monday.

In one seven-hour period late last month, according to the e-mail, two medics from the state Department of Public Safety said they treated:

  • A 4-year-old girl passed out in 100-degree heat after Texas (National) Guard personnel pushed the group she was in back towards Mexico
  • A man with a significant laceration on his leg, suffered when he tried to rescue his child from razor wire placed on a deterrence buoy in the Rio Grande
  • A 15-year-old boy with a broken leg, suffered when he tried to cross a more dangerous part of the river away from the buoys
  • A 19-year-old woman trapped in the wire having a miscarriage

The very next day, according to the e-mail, the troopers got reports of a mother and two children trying to cross the river in an area without wire. The woman and one child were grabbed after being underwater for about a minute. Both were pronounced dead at hospital. The body of the other child was recovered later.

On another shift, the medics said they found about 120 people camping out – including nursing babies and other young children – exhausted, hungry and tired after a day when the temperature reached 108 degrees in the shade. The medics questioned an order to push them back to the river toward Mexico as they thought it was “not the correct thing to do” and one that could have led to a risk of drowning. They were told to leave the area, the trooper wrote in the e-mail.

The trooper medics contacted their superiors while on duty and again in writing, calling for changes to the latest Operation Lone Star policies brought in by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott.

“I believe we a have stepped over a line into the in humane [sic]. We need to operate it correctly in the eyes of God,” the trooper said. “We need to operate it correctly in the eyes of God. We need to recognize that these are people who are made in the image of God and need to be treated as such.”

In the e-mail, the trooper also voices concerns over the casualty wire.

“The casualty wire needs to provide protection to the state and provide a safe means of travel on solid land to proper collection points. The wire also needs to be manned and patrolled constantly to provide security for these families who are seeking refuge. The wire on the shore needs to be lighted at night so people can see the wire and not stumble into it as a trap. The wire and barrels in the river needs to be taken out as this is nothing but a in humane [sic] trap in high water and low visibility,” the trooper writes.

On the broader question of immigration policy, I realize the Biden administration is in a no-win situation politically speaking, but since it’s going to be blamed continually by the right wing noise machine for having a minimally humane policy that it doesn’t actually have, it might as well have it in reality.

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