Report: Justice Department probing Texas’ border mission

A multibillion-dollar border security mission in Texas is under investigation. It gave the National Guard powers to arrest people, and saw state authorities bus migrants to Washington, D.C.

By

National News

July 6, 2022 - 2:01 PM

U.S. Border Patrol agents interact with Haitian immigrants on the bank of the Rio Grande in Del Rio, Texas, on Monday, Sept. 20, 2021, as seen from Ciudad Acuna, Mexico. (John Moore/Getty Images/TNS)

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — The U.S. Department of Justice is investigating potential civil rights violations in Texas’ multibillion-dollar border security mission that has given the National Guard arrest powers and seen state authorities bus migrants to Washington, D.C., according to public records.

A lawyer for the state police agency acknowledged the federal probe of Gov. Greg Abbott’s initiative to curb people crossing from Mexico in a May email, records obtained by ProPublica and The Texas Tribune show. The state prison system also cited a “formal investigation” in a letter seeking to withhold public records related to Operation Lone Star.

The investigation comes to light as a human smuggling attempt that left 53 people dead in a sweltering tractor-trailer highlights the limits of state and federal border controls. Crossings along the entire southern border are at or near their highest point in about two decades.

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