The letter did not address any concerns related to migrants at the Texas-Mexico border, but DOJ spokesman Xochitl Hinojosa said Friday that « the department is aware of the troubling reports and we are working with DHS and other relevant agencies to assess the situation. »
Also a group of 87 Democrats in Congress wrote a letter to President Joe Biden Friday, asking him to intervene in Texas border paperwork.
Led by the Rep. Joachim Castro of Texas, lawmakers have expressed « deep concern » about Abbott’s border policies, known as Operation Lone Star. The letter called on the federal government to « act immediately, » citing reports of « barbaric » practices that made border areas « death traps for migrants » and arguing that border policies interfere with federal enforcement of immigration laws and violate U.S.-Mexico border treaties.
Mexico’s top diplomat, Foreign Relations Secretary Alicia Bárcena, also reported the Associated Press. filed a complaint with the US government last week, arguing that Texas’ makeshift floating border on the Rio Grande could violate two treaties.
Abbott addressed concerns about the Lone Star operation in a series of tweets Friday afternoonfocusing the blame on Biden and stating that « Texas is stepping up to address this crisis. »
“The tragic humanitarian crisis at the border was created because of Biden’s refusal to secure the border,” Abbott wrote. « Its open border policies encourage migrants to risk their lives by crossing the Rio Grande illegally, instead of crossing a bridge safely and legally. »
The political skirmish is the latest in a long battle over border policies between Republican governors and the Biden administration, with state leaders like Abbott and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis sending migrants to Democratic-led cities in protest against federal immigration policies.
According to San Antonio Express-NewsTroops from the National Guard and the Texas Department of Public Safety have been ordered to push migrant children into the Rio Grande River and hold back water for migrants suffering from heat exhaustion. The report also detailed incidents of migrants injured by barbed wire placed along an unauthorized makeshift buoy wall in the Rio Grande, including a pregnant woman who miscarried and a teenager who broke his leg trying to cross the wire.
Josh Gerstein contributed to this report.