On August 29th, the Frontera Texas Organizing Project (FTOP), a division of the Border Network for Human Rights (BNHR), held a press conference that brought together various grassroots organizations from the Texas border. These organizations collectively demanded the removal of river buoys, concertina wire, boxcars, and the border wall from the Rio Grande. The coalition also called for an end to Operation Lone Star and the withdrawal of state troopers and the Texas National Guard from our communities.
Emma Alaniz, a representative of LUPE and a resident of South Texas, undertook a journey of hours from the southern tip of Texas to Eagle Pass, collaborating with partner organizations to voice their opposition against the removal of river buoys, concertina wire, boxcars, and the border wall from the Rio Grande. Amidst the escalating border militarization, she passionately implores, “Invitamos a la legislatura de Texas a utilizar este dinero en vez de dañar vidas, para mejorar la calidad de vida,” citing examples like “fortalecer la red eléctrica, la infraestructura y la salud pública.” By emphasizing that the state of Texas has spent billions of taxpayers' dollars, particularly 4 billion dollars, on constructing an unnecessary border wall, deploying numerous state troopers and the Texas National Guard to the southern border, and financially supporting local cities and counties, all with the exclusive aim of apprehending and detaining migrant children, families, and individuals in search of safety within our nation. She asserts that these funds should instead be allocated towards initiatives that could enhance the well-being of the people of Texas.
Time and time again, we find ourselves reiterating our call to hold Gov. Abbott accountable for his failed strategies, where he squanders taxpayer money. However, our focus must also center on raising awareness about the inhumane policies and racist tactics that have been put into motion. As Emma pointedly expresses, “estamos aquí para que se dé cuenta de todos los daños y todo el odio y racismo que genera esta ley contra inmigrantes y personas vulnerables que llegan a la frontera.” The militarization of the border has led to a situation where border residents, many of whom are American citizens, are now facing racial profiling and mistreatment by law enforcement agencies solely because they are Latinos living at the border. These alleged practices warrant an investigation by the Texas Legislature. The deployment of harmful and life-threatening concertina wire, physical barriers, buoys, and military vehicles along the border and the Rio Grande further exacerbates the issue.
We are advocating for an end to Operation Lone Star! We are here and committed to staying— “estamos aquí como colectivos para asegurar que las políticas y decisiones sirvan al mejor interés de todos los involucrados sin importar su origen y estatus,” as Emma emphasizes. This battle has raged on for over two years, and it must conclude in the best interests of residents all across Texas. We must not confront the horrors that could befall our fellow South Texans, as Operation Lone Star represents an inhumane and racist policy that has only cultivated fear, fueled hatred, and compromised the safety of our nation and border.
We implore you to take action by appealing to the Department of Justice (DOJ) to safeguard the people living by the border! Kindly spare a moment to sign this petition. Assist us in putting an end to Abbott's inhumane policies and the violence at the border.
Si Se Puede!