Thursday, September 29, 2022

ACLU Asks the Federal Government to Investigate Greg Abbott’s Executive Order on Immigration

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is asking the federal government to stop cooperating with Greg Abbott’s executive order that authorizes state troopers to transport migrants back to ports of entry at the U.S. border. The request by ACLU Texas comes a week after it was reported that state troopers were transferring suspected migrants to the port of entry in Eagle Pass and presenting them to federal immigration authorities.

Abbott had authorized the executive order on July 7th but provided little clarity on how the migrants would be transported and under what authority they were being detained. Immigration law enforcement falls under federal responsibility, but Abbott’s order is taking unprecedented steps that are inflicting on that authority.

Abbott’s order authorizes Texas Department of Public Safety officers to drive migrants to the border ports of entry, where immigration authorities can more efficiently process the immigrants. Local law enforcement authorities have previously turned over immigrants in their custody to federal immigration authorities at their request. However, migrants usually stay at the location they were held.

On Monday, ACLU called for an investigation by the Department of Homeland Security’s Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties. The ACLU asked the agency to: monitor the Eagle Pass Port of entry to ensure federal agents are acting appropriately; collect and publicize data on the purported state authority for the transfer of people from Texas DPS to federal immigration agents; identify gaps in U.S. Customs and Border Protection policies related to this practice and issue a relevant recommendation and take all appropriate steps to identify and address civil rights violations that could be taking place.

The civil liberties group also requested that the federal government stops taking those migrants into custody.

“Simply put, migrants are being held on federal property in violation of the [federal standards] and in potentially dangerous conditions,” the ACLU letter concludes.

The Texas Tribune