Whistleblower: Texas troopers told to push kids into Rio Grande, investigation underway

ByJosh Margolin and Sasha Pezenik ABCNews logo
Tuesday, July 18, 2023
Troopers told to push children into Rio Grande, Chronicle reports
A Houston Chronicle report centering around a Texas DPS trooper describes orders to push migrant children into the Rio Grande, among other orders.

The Inspector General of the Texas Department of Public Safety is conducting a full investigation into a whistleblower report detailing alleged inhumane commands by ranking officials, according to DPS spokesman Travis Considine. DPS has no additional comment.

ABC News has obtained the original email from July 3 detailing some of the conditions witnessed at the U.S. southern border in Texas, as migrants and asylum seekers attempt to cross into the country. The allegations were originally reported by the Houston Chronicle.

Amid scorching heat and treacherous conditions, officers at the border assigned to Texas' Operation Lone Star have been told to push back exhausted and hungry groups of people, some of whom have been injured, including small children, nursing infants and even a pregnant and miscarrying young woman, according to an email from a DPS trooper/medic blowing the whistle on conditions they have seen.

The email was sent to a sergeant with the subject line "Weekly Event Log and Operational Concerns" in the afternoon of Monday, July 3.

Razor wire deployed by DPS along the Rio Grande is forcing people to cross in riskier sections of river -- and on a number of occasions, those attempting to cross get caught up and badly cut, according to the email.

In late June, the trooper says he and those he was patrolling with discovered a 19-year-old woman stuck in the wire and in "obvious pain," doubled over.

"She was pregnant and was having a miscarriage," the trooper said.

ABC News has obtained pictures showing some of the wounds sustained by the wire, some with fresh blood, some large lacerations which required staples.

"Texas is deploying every tool and strategy to deter and repel illegal crossings between ports of entry as President Biden's dangerous open border policies entice migrants from over 150 countries to risk their lives entering the country illegally," a spokesperson for Texas Gov. Gregg Abbott said to ABC News.

White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre condemned Gov. Abbott's response to the allegations.

"If [the reports] are true, it is abhorrent, it is despicable. It is dangerous, and we're talking about the bedrock values of who you are as a country and the indecency, the human decency that we're seeing, potentially if this is true, is just wrong," Jean-Pierre said.

The trooper said that despite the sweltering temperatures, they have been ordered not to give people water.

Despite the "very real potential of exhausted people drowning," officials were given the order to "tell them to go to Mexico and get into our vehicle and leave," according to the email.

This is a developing story. Please come back for more details.