DOJ Jumps on Texas Trooper’s Complaint About ‘Inhumane’ Treatment of Migrants at Border

Texas DPS trooper stands ready at state's border with Mexico to deter and turnback migrant
Texas Department of Public Safety

The U.S. Department of Justice is “assessing the situation” surrounding the complaint by a Texas Department of Public Safety trooper regarding what he described as the “inhumane” treatment of migrants crossing the border from Mexico. The complaint emerged in a leaked email following the trooper’s brief deployment to the border under Operation Lone Star.

“The department is aware of the troubling reports, and we are working with DHS and other relevant agencies to assess the situation,” DOJ spokeswoman Xochitl Hinojosa said in an article published by CNN. The DOJ’s statement does not appear to be the launching of an “investigation” into the complaints at this time.

The Texas Department of Public Safety’s Office of Inspector has already launched an investigation into the matter following the leak of the trooper’s email, Breitbart Texas reported on Wednesday.

Texas DPS spokesman Travis Considine told Breitbart Texas on Tuesday that the Office of Inspector General is investigating the allegations made by the trooper. The trooper is reportedly not the target of the investigation. Rather, investigators are attempting to learn if orders contrary to Texas border security policy may have been issued in the field.

Multiple DPS officials told Breitbart no policy directs troopers to physically push migrants “back into the water,” as alleged by the trooper. They also denied there is a policy prohibiting providing water to migrants who may be in distress from heat-related injuries or illness.

Breitbart Texas reviews the chain of emails that contained the trooper’s complaints and the responses from people in the chain of command up to and including DPS Director Colonel Steve McCraw.

In the email, the trooper made multiple allegations as to what he said: “stepped over a line into [inhumane].” The trooper cited several anecdotal incidents that led to his conclusion of inhumane policies.


Colonel McCraw replied in the email thread, writing, “The priority of life requires that we rescue migrants from harm and we will continue to do so. In fact, Texas Troopers and Texas National Guard Soldiers have saved the lives of numerous migrants at the risk of their own safety, and one soldier died during a water rescue attempt.”

Texas Border Czar and Texas Military Departmen officials released a statement that said, in part:

No orders or directions have been given under Operation Lone Star that would compromise the lives of those attempting to cross the border illegally. The Texas Department of Public Safety and Texas Military Department continue taking steps to monitor migrants in distress, provide appropriate medical attention when needed, and encourage them to use one of the 29 international bridges along the Texas-Mexico Border where they can safely and legally cross.

“It is Texas troopers and National Guard soldiers who are risking their lives to rescue migrants who place themselves in life-threatening circumstances,” a Texas DPS official told Breitbart. “We are the ones who are pulling people from the river and are saving lives.”

DPS spokesman Lieutenant Chris Olivarez added, “While we are attempting to stop migrants placing themselves in harm’s way by deciding to cross the Rio Grande, the fact is, more migrants are rescued because more people are present to quickly respond to these incidents.”

In the past two days, Breitbart Texas reported on migrants being rescued in 100+ degree heat along the border near Eagle Pass. In one incident, a trooper carried a Venezuelan teenager who injured his ankle while crossing the Rio Grande. In the second, a DPS medic provided quick and effective medical care for a dehydrated pregnant Venezuelan migrant who crossed the border on Thursday.

Bob Price serves as associate editor and senior news contributor for the Breitbart Texas-Border team. He is an original member of the Breitbart Texas team. Price is a regular panelist on Fox 26 Houston’s What’s Your Point? Sunday-morning talk show. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX.


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.