In Texas, officials directed by Republican Governor Greg Abbott to apprehend asylum seekers at the southern border were ordered to push small children and nursing babies back into the Rio Grande and to deny water to migrants even in the sweltering heat. That’s according to the Houston Chronicle, which obtained an email written by a Texas Public Safety Department agent calling for policy changes.
The trooper, Nicholas Wingate, calls for the removal of barrels wrapped in razor wire placed in the Rio Grande to stop migrants from crossing the river, writing to his colleagues, “this is nothing but an inhumane trap in high water and low visibility.” He describes two incidents from last month where a 4-year-old migrant girl and a pregnant woman having a miscarriage were found with severe injuries as they crashed into the barbed-wire barrels while crossing the river. The young girl had also passed out from heat exhaustion. Wingate also wrote that a migrant mother and one of her children drowned in the Rio Grande in early July, and that the woman’s other child was never found. Those drownings were never officially reported.