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Department of Justice investigating border security initiative

On Behalf of | Jul 23, 2022 | family-based immigration

The Texas Department of Public Safety launched a program in March to target migrants crossing the Mexican border into the United States. The U.S. Department of Justice is investigating this program for potential civil rights violations.

What are the alleged violations?

Alleged civil rights violations

The DOJ investigation is attempting to determine if the Texas DPS is not complying with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Information that indicates that the DPS is discriminating based on race or national origin prompted the investigation. The allegations assert that Operation Loan Star officials are targeting people for traffic stops and misdemeanor trespass violations based on their actual or perceived race or national origin.

Operation Lone Star

The Texas governor deployed close to 10,000 DPS officers and Texas National Guard soldiers to the border between the United States and Mexico to help arrest migrants. Additionally, he signed an executive order allowing the Guard and the DPS to apprehend and return to the border migrants crossing the border between ports of entry.

Civil rights groups say that the Operation has targeted migrants with spurious trespassing charges resulting in detentions that sometimes last for weeks. They also claim that some of the detainees are not given resources to obtain legal representation.

The Operation has also taken a toll on guardsmen, with some reporting low morale, suicide attempts, unstable housing conditions, payment issues and lack of proper training. One guardsman died while attempting to save drowning migrants.

The DOJ has yet to conclude whether Texas officials have committed civil rights violations in carrying out Operation Lone Star.

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