July 7, 2022 Press Statement
Updated: Jul 7, 2022
For immediate release
Thursday, July 7, 2022
Texas Civil Rights, Immigrant and Criminal Justice Groups Reject Operation Lone Star’s Extremism, Demand Biden Administration Take Action
According to the Texas Tribune article, the DOJ is taking a closer look at Operation Lone Star (OLS), Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s latest anti-immigrant effort to criminalize, detain, and deport migrants. While important, let’s be clear. An investigation is crucial, but not enough; DOJ must litigate and remove any federal funding underlying OLS. The fact that the DOJ is looking into potential civil rights violations in this program should prompt the Biden administration and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to immediately stop any collaboration or participation by federal immigration enforcement agencies in OLS.
Right-wing extremism has flourished under Gov. Abbott’s Operation Lone Star. On Tuesday, elected officials of counties participating in OLS held a press conference where they continued to push dangerous, racist conspiracy theories. Actions like these fan the flames of white supremacist rhetoric and have brought civil and human rights abuses against those seeking refuge and safety.
We know most Texans believe in caring for our neighbors, and respecting and embracing people with the courage to move here for a better life no matter our color or accent. We as Texans will not continue to let racist politicians fabricate fear of migrants in border communities, our state and in this country.
But instead of governing for the good of all Texans, politicians prefer to hold stunts to gain media attention as they continue to associate with extremists, and have failed to provide real solutions to real issues in our state. Gov. Abbott and localities participating in Operation Lone Star have misspent $4 billion of taxpayer money. Yet, Texans face regular blackouts in the middle of summer, gun control is nonexistent and rights for teachers, women, and trans youth continue to be stripped away.
The harm and reach of Operation Lone Star has gone too far. Before Texas officials’ policies and rhetoric lead to additional violence against migrants or other communities of color and waste additional billions in this unlawful operation, the federal government must intervene now.