CDF-Texas Demands Accountability & Answers on Atrocities at Texas-Mexico Border

For Immediate Release

July 19, 2023 

Contact: Cindy Ji,, (973) 229-8429

CDF-Texas mourns the suffering at the hands of violent, inhuman, and ineffective deterrence tactics at the Texas-Mexico border. 

This week, a report by Hearst Newspapers revealed that state officials have ordered state troopers to deny water to migrants in the scorching heat, and push children and nursing babies into the Rio Grande. It also detailed several incidents of migrants caught in concertina wire traps, including a pregnant woman having a miscarriage, a four-year-old girl, and a teenager who broke his leg trying to get around the wire. 

“As if locking kids in cages and ripping them from their parents’ arms weren’t vile enough, now our governor simply wants them dead,” says Esther Reyes, Director of Immigration Policy and Advocacy. “We see our leaders for what they are. They may tout ‘pro-life’ values or invoke faith as the foundation for these policies, but they are enabling violent crimes against children and families, plain and simple.”

CDF-Texas demands accountability from Texas officials. This year, the Texas Legislature allotted an additional $5.1 billion in taxpayer dollars to continue funding Governor Abbott’s failed “border security” initiative, Operation Lone Star (OLS), despite testimony by hundreds of advocates from across the state on the harms perpetrated under OLS. 

Under OLS, car chases have killed at least 30 people, police have racial profiled border residents as well as Black and brown migrants, and two state prisons have been repurposed to incarcerate migrants under substandard conditions. 

OLS is just one of several state policies that targets migrants while taking children as casualties. In May 2021, Governor Abbott issued an executive order that effectively denies licenses to centers that house unaccompanied children. Office of Refugee Resettlement facilities in Texas now operate without any oversight. 

“We have a governor with no moral compass, and we have elected officials who lack the courage to speak up against the atrocities we are seeing,” says Esther Reyes. “This is unacceptable. Our communities deserve answers. We need our leaders to deliver those answers and put an end to these violent, failed policies.”