Groups are urging the DOJ to investigate human rights violations along the Texas border

Groups say Operation Lone Star by Gov. Greg Abbott is in a slippery slope and inciting a form of anti-Latino, anti-immigrant hatred that led to the 2019


Ten human rights groups have accused Texas Government Greg Abbott of inciting hatred by his work to tighten borders, which they say is rife with human rights abuses and instigated by similar rhetoric used before the 2019 El Paso shooting.

The parties' petition, Article VI of Human Rights, calls on the Department of Justice to investigate Abbott's Operation Lone Star, launched in March, and to close the organisation's funding to participating government agencies.

"This is a subversive system, motivated by white supremacist rhetoric," said Laura Peña, director of legal services at the Texas Civil Rights Project, adding that "it is a recurring rhetoric, a drum that there is an attack."

"An El Paso shooter used the same language when he was attacked in his manifesto before killing 23 people in Walmart," he said.

Calls to the governor's press office went through voicemail and did not immediately respond to messages left asking for comment.

In October, Rep. Joaquin Castro and other lawmakers from the Democratic Alliance called on the DOJ and the Department of Homeland Security to investigate Operation Lone Star.

At the time, a spokesman for Abbott's office said the Texans deserved border law and that was what Abbott did.

On the 3rd of Aug. In 2019, a gunman traveled 700 kilometers from outside Dallas to a town near the El Paso border where he opened fire on Walmart, killing 22 people and injuring 23 others. A 23-year-old man later died of his injuries.

The document was posted online before the shooting, and police believe it was sent by the shooter, referring to the "Spanish invasion." At the time of the massacre, there was an uproar over anti-immigrant speech used by former President Donald Trump and Texas officials.

Abbott has taken state responsibility to enforce immigration laws. State law enforcement officials arrest immigrants, detain them in converted state prisons who do not have access to lawyers, charge many with illegal immigration, but detain others without trial even after the end of the filing deadline.

Abbott, who is running for re-election in 2022, has focused heavily, and billions of dollars on illegal immigration across the border, challenging the policies of President Joe Biden.

The governor sent the Texas Department of Public Safety, the Texas Guard and the Texas Rangers to the border, requesting and receiving assistance from other states. At one point he placed ship containers on the border to prevent the migrants.

The groups stated in a letter to the DOJ that the operation was rife with racial and police bias and that the police in some cases lured immigrants to pay for illegal activities. Arbitrary arrests of people are always justified, groups say.

In the case of a Venezuelan man, he was arrested on felony charges and sentenced to 63 days in prison after the authorities placed him in an open gate. The case was eventually dismissed, said Kate Huddleston, a labor attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union of Texas.

Texas has arrested about 2,200 XNUMX people on charges of illegal immigration, the parties said. Almost all of them were Latin or Black men and immigrants, these groups said in their complaint.

To carry out this task, Abbott created a separate system for criminal prosecution and detention, with separate dockets, social security assignments, prisons and a booking center, they said.

Abbott and other state officials said the operation had led to the arrest of thousands of immigrants, disrupted crime and the seizure of illegal drugs. At a press conference on December 9, the state said it had seized 160 kilograms of fetanyl.

On one occasion, a senior official in Kinney County, where many had been arrested, changed several judges hearing cases.

ACLU's analysis of affidavits for possible cause in 168 cases has arisen to address racism and perceived immigration status.

"Our findings show that racial profiling and making profiles based on what is thought to be national origin is rife in the system," Huddleston said.

Texas is the first to implement state law in this way and if the DOJ does not intervene and stop operations, "it will not only prosper in Texas and spread to other Texas states, but will also spread to other states ... "said Huddleston.

Their complaint was filed under Article VI of the Bill of Rights, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, or ethnic origin in any program that receives public assistance.