ACLU Submits Civil Rights and Civil Liberties Complaint Regarding Texas State Police Collaboration with Border Patrol
HOUSTON — The American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU of Texas sent a complaint to the Department of Homeland Security’s Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties today asking for an investigation into a report that the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) has transported, detained, and handed over immigrants to Border Patrol in Eagle Pass, Texas. The alleged incident follows a July executive order by Gov. Greg Abbott purporting to authorize and empower the Texas National Guard and the Texas Department of Public Safety to arrest migrants and return them to border ports of entry.
“We have said from the beginning that Gov. Abbott’s executive order is cruel, unlawful, and likely to result in increased racial profiling of Black and Brown people in Texas,” said Kate Huddleston, staff attorney at the ACLU of Texas. “Recent news that state police are transporting migrants and detaining them for hours before handing them over to Border Patrol is deeply troubling and raises serious legal concerns.”
The ACLU asks the Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties to investigate whether DPS is in fact transporting migrants to a location near the Eagle Pass port of entry, possibly federal property, and detaining them while awaiting transfer to CBP custody. If that is in fact occurring, the ACLU requests the end of such transfers and any and all appropriate further actions regarding violations of applicable law and DHS policy. The ACLU also requests monitoring of certain DPS interactions with CBP.
“Texas state police have no business arresting, transporting, and detaining people they believe to be immigrants for the purposes of deportation, ”said Naureen Shah, senior legislative counsel on immigrants’ rights with the ACLU. “We have seen time and time again that when police get involved in immigration enforcement, people in the community become more afraid to seek their protection from serious crimes and everyone suffers as a result.”
The complaint comes on the heels of a federal civil rights complaint that the ACLU of Texas filed with the Department of Justice at the end of July, seeking federal investigation and intervention into racial profiling of Latinx drivers and passengers in traffic stops in South Texas under Gov. Abbott’s anti-immigrant Operation Lone Star initiative.
The complaint is online here:
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The American Civil Liberties Union is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to every person in this country by the Constitution and laws of the United States of America.