TAKE ACTION: Urge President Biden to Fight the Cruelties of Operation Lone Star

August 7, 2023

According to several reports in late July and early August, Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s Operation Lone Star (OLS) initiative is resulting in the cruel, inhumane, and deadly treatment of arriving asylum seekers at the Texas-Mexico border.

  • A July 18 report detailed a series of horrific allegations, including Texas State Troopers ordered to push migrant children back into the Rio Grande, a woman suffering a miscarriage while stuck in newly erected razor wire “traps”, and a four-year-old girl who was refused assistance after passing out from heat exhaustion. 
  • A July 28 report documented Texas opening a jail for migrant women after an apparent expansion of a years-long OLS initiative to arrest migrants on misdemeanor trespassing charges.
  • An August 2 report found that these state arrests are now being applied to arriving families – resulting in the separation of dozens of children from their fathers.
  • On August 3, a migrant was found dead next to the barrier buoys that Governor Abbott had ordered to be placed in the Rio Grande just weeks prior.

Under the law, border management is a domain reserved explicitly and exclusively for the federal government. In the two years since the launch of Operation Lone Star, President Biden and the Department of Justice (DOJ) have had the authority and the ability to intervene. Finally, on July 24, the DOJ filed a narrow lawsuit against Texas over the barrier buoys in the Rio Grande – but the administration has refrained from taking further action to prevent migrant arrests, mistreatment, or family separation under Operation Lone Star.

We need your help. The Biden administration must do more to combat Governor Abbott’s escalating and deadly actions at the border, actions which stand in stark contrast to the values of welcome and protection etched into the base of the Statue of Liberty.

On the right-hand side, you can send an email to President Biden

Dear President Biden,

My name is [NAME] and I reside in [CITY/TOWN]. I’m writing to urge you and your administration to take further action to prevent the inhumane treatment of arriving asylum seekers at the border and to work to end Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s cruel and dehumanizing Operation Lone Star initiative.

Since its launch in the spring of 2021, Operation Lone Star has come under scrutiny for violating the constitution, federal law, and international treaties. But you have not publicly condemned the program and your administration has not pursued significant legal action to end it. In part due to this inaction, in recent months Governor Abbott has felt the freedom to implement increasingly inhumane and unlawful tactics, wildly overstepping into border management authorities that are reserved for the federal government. 

These policies are now separating families; they are placing children in danger and leaving them without needed assistance. More and more often, they are resulting in tragic loss of life. 

The continued implementation of these cruelties without significant opposition from your administration is a stain on our country and a reversal of pledges that you made during your campaign to keep families together and to restore humanity to the border. 

I urge you and your administration to forcefully condemn cruelty and inhumanity at the border and use all available resources and authorities to take further action against Operation Lone Star.”

Amplify on Social Media: Find shareable graphics here and sample social media posts below:

1. Under Operation Lone Star at the border, Governor Greg Abbott is:

  • Separating families
  • Forcing children into dangerous conditions
  • Causing migrant deaths
  • Breaking the law

@POTUS it is time to act!

2. @POTUS you have the power to follow through on your campaign commitments and to stop family separation and unnecessary cruelty at the border. Your administration must use all the resources at its disposal to fight the inhumanity of Operation Lone Star. 

3. @GregAbbott_TX your multi-billion dollar Operation Lone Star initiative is throwing valuable taxpayer dollars on cruel, dehumanizing, and deadly policies at the border. Our values call us to welcome and protect those fleeing persecution and seeking protection at our doors!

4. Since its inception, Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s Operation Lone Star (OLS) initiative has resulted in the cruel, inhumane and deadly treatment of asylum seekers at the Texas-Mexico border. @POTUS, we must act!

5. ALL people deserve to live in safety and with dignity. Yet, @GregAbbott_TX’s Operation Lone Star initiative is separating families, placing children in danger and resulting in a tragic loss of life. @POTUS must take action against this cruelty at the U.S.-Mexico border.

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