Normally I can summon a sarcastic tone when I write about the GOP, but what Gregg Abbott is doing in Texas is so awful all I can do is try not to cry as I write this.
A story broke on Monday claiming that Texas border guards have been ordered to push children crossing the Rio Grande back into the water, even if means the child drowns:
Efforts by Texas state officials to deter illegal crossings along the U.S.-Mexico border have placed migrants, including children, at risk of drowning or being cut by razor wire, a state trooper said in an internal message this month that raised concerns about practices he called inhumane.
The trooper also claimed that Texas officials have received directions to withhold water from migrants and to push them back into the Rio Grande.
The details are horrific.
In one instance, Wingate said, he and other troopers encountered a group of about 120 “hungry” and “exhausted” migrants, including children and babies. He said an officer ordered him and other troopers to push the migrants, who were already on U.S. soil, back into the Rio Grande so they would return to Mexico.
“We decided that this was not the correct thing to do, with the very real potential of exhausted people drowning,” Wingate wrote. “We made contact with command again and expressed our concerns and we were given the order to tell them to go to Mexico and get into our vehicle and leave.”
How can such deliberate cruelty exist in this country?:
Wingate also recounted treating a migrant father who reported that his left leg had been lacerated when he rescued his son, who had gotten stuck in the river on a barrel fitted with wire. In another instance, a 15-year-old migrant broke his right leg after he and his father were forced to cross in an area of the river that was “unsafe to travel” because of the razor wire officials had set up.
Later that day, Wingate added, he and his team rescued a 19-year-old pregnant migrant who had gotten stuck in the wire. He said the migrant was in “obvious pain” and having a miscarriage.
Razor wire placed by Texas officials, the trooper also reported, was forcing migrants to cross the Rio Grande in parts that are unsafe, especially for families traveling with children. He referenced reports of a mother and her two sons drowning earlier this month.
And the barriers extend to private land, too:
New: The owner of a pecan farm in Eagle Pass near where a pregnant woman was found caught in state-deployed razor wire said officials working for Gov. Greg Abbott’s border security initiative are refusing to take it down despite his repeated requests. https://t.co/7WS0RLIO67
— Ben Wermund (@benwermund) July 18, 2023
The state has been offering explanations but I’m not including any of them because the explanations are lies. There is no need to treat peaceful migrants like this. This is straight-up cruelty and racism for the sake of cruelty and racism. There needs to be an investigation and those responsible need to be held accountable. This is wrong.
I went looking for a video of Dido’s Lament from Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas, and found this version I’d never heard before.