Civil Rights Groups Urge Investigation into Border Enforcement Accounts

( – Liberal activists are calling for an investigation after a Texas trooper claimed the state’s border control policies are inhumane. An email from the anonymous officer says he and his colleagues were ordered to use dangerous methods to stop or control migrants. State authorities are denying giving any such orders.

On July 28, NBC News obtained an email sent on July 3 from an unnamed Texas trooper to another unnamed person. The sender of the email claims he and another trooper found 120 illegal immigrants on the US bank of the Rio Grande at Eagle Pass, Texas — and then were ordered to push them back into the river so they’d return to Mexico. He says he warned his supervisor the exhausted migrants would be in danger of drowning and was then told to leave.

According to the mystery trooper, Texas authorities are refusing to give migrants water, have installed new razor wire fences along the border, and deployed buoys and nets as barriers in the river. Governor Greg Abbott (R) actually has set up a 1000-foot string of buoys. Civil rights groups are challenging it, claiming the barrier could mean more migrants drown in the river. Abbot disagrees — and Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) director, Steven McCraw, says that, by deterring people from even trying to swim across, the barrier could save lives.

Meanwhile, Abbott has strongly denied the claims in the leaked email. In a joint statement with senior border officials, he insisted, “No orders have been given… that would compromise the lives of those attempting to cross the border illegally.” A DPS spokesman said troopers have never pushed migrants back into the river, and there’s no policy that would authorize them to do that. The spokesman also said no migrants have been denied water.

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