Troopers at the southern border under Texas Republican Gov. Greg Abbott’s Operation Lone Star scheme have allegedly “been ordered to push small children and nursing babies back into the Rio Grande, and have been told not to give water to asylum seekers even in extreme heat,” Houston Chronicle reported. In one horrific incident detailed in the report, troopers pushed a four-year-old girl back into Mexico amid the searing heat hitting the region. The child subsequently “passed out from exhaustion.” Texas has also installed a deadly system of buoys and razor wiring that increases the likelihood of drowning.
Some troops reportedly expressed concerns about the orders to their superiors, showing more humanity, decency and understanding of what it means to be an American than Texas’ governor. They’re also showing more leadership than Rep. Monica De La Cruz (R-TX), who has touted her personal story as the granddaughter of a Mexican farmworker yet remained silent on her party’s state-enforced violence against migrant children and adults. Her constituents deserve straight answers.
Here are three questions Rep. Monica De La Cruz must answer:
- Does De La Cruz support the draconian practice of pushing children into a deadly river? And if not, what is she going to concretely do about it? What investigation, what legislation, anything more than a half-hearted statement?
- Will De La Cruz buck the extremists in her party and actually work towards solutions to reform our broken and out-of-date immigration system? Or will she continue to be all talk and no action?
- Will De La Cruz commit to calling out her fellow Republican members when they employ dehumanizing white nationalist rhetoric about migrants?
While De La Cruz has claimed she “is fighting to keep the American Dream alive,” she was a critical vote in ensuring the passage of H.B. 2, also known as the Child Deportation Act, this past May. Her Republican colleagues promoted the bill with white nationalist conspiracy theories about “replacement” and “invasion” that have inspired multiple domestic terrorist attacks. The following month, De La Cruz again joined extremists and voted for two resolutions further advancing racist conspiracy theories and paranoia targeted at immigration and immigrants.
As we’ve previously noted, we’re now seeing the consequences of dehumanizing rhetoric play out, where even babies and children are treated as less than human. Will Rep. De La Cruz challenge her state’s leadership, or continue to remain silent and be complicit in the abuses of some of the most vulnerable arriving to our border in search of asylum?