Officers working for Gov. Greg Abbott’s border security initiative have been ordered to push small children and nursing babies back into the Rio Grande, and have been told not to give water to asylum seekers even in extreme heat, according to an email from a Department of Public Safety trooper who described the actions as “inhumane.”
The July 3 account, reviewed by Hearst Newspapers, discloses several previously unreported incidents the trooper witnessed in Eagle Pass, where the state of Texas has strung miles of razor wire and deployed a wall of buoys in the Rio Grande.
According to the email, a pregnant woman having a miscarriage was found late last month caught in the wire, doubled over in pain. A four-year-old girl passed out from heat exhaustion after she tried to go through it and was pushed back by Texas National Guard soldiers. A teenager broke his leg trying to navigate the water around the wire and had to be carried by his father.
The email, which the trooper sent to a superior, suggests that Texas has set “traps” of razor wire-wrapped barrels in parts of the river with high water and low visibility. And it says the wire has increased the risk of drownings by forcing migrants into deeper stretches of the river.
The trooper called for a series of rigorous policy changes to improve safety for migrants, including removing the barrels and revoking the directive on withholding water.
“Due to the extreme heat, the order to not give people water needs to be immediately reversed as well,” the trooper wrote, later adding: “I believe we have stepped over a line into the inhumane.”
I think we crossed that line awhile ago. I don’t want to share a planet with people who would do this. I’m too numb to say anything else right now. My God, we need to vote some people out of office.