TEXAS — Earlier this year, allegations surfaced that Texas Department of Public Safety troopers working along the border mistreated migrants at the direction of their supervisors, depriving them of water and medical assistance and pushing them back into the Rio Grande. 

What You Need To Know

  • The Texas Department of Public Safety this week said internal investigations revealed no evidence of wrongdoing after allegations of the mistreatment of migrants surfaced

  • Earlier this year, six officers alleged that troopers were directed to deprive migrants of water and medical assistance and push them back into the Rio Grande

  • The Texas DPS Office of Inspector General conducted two investigations 

  • Rep. Joaquin Castro, D-Texas, criticized the findings, writing on X, "They’ve lost all credibility and there’s no reason to trust them to honestly investigate themselves” 

The department this week cleared itself of wrongdoing.

Texas DPS said two investigations were launched following complaints from six officers.

In one account, Texas Trooper Nicholas Wingate told a supervisor that upon encountering a group of 120 migrants on June 25 — including young children and mothers nursing babies — in Maverick County, a rural Texas border county, he and another trooper were ordered to “push the people back into the water to go to Mexico.”

The trooper described the actions in an email dated July 3 as inhumane.

The Texas DPS Office of the Inspector General concluded:

  • No formal order was given by supervisors to subordinates instructing them to withhold water from migrants. Rather, the office said, the order was not to provide water to everyone under every circumstance in order to dissuade them from crossing the Rio Grande.
  • Medical care was provided to migrants as needed.
  • Troopers arrested migrants for criminal trespass in Eagle Pass’s Shelby Park. Families were encountered in the park, but they were turned over to Border Patrol or only one adult family member was arrested and the other was turned over to Border Patrol for processing or released.
  • Troopers were not instructed to push migrants back into the river.
  • Investigators found no “evidence or circumstances in which agency personnel indiscriminately or deliberately engaged in use of force on migrants either as a deterrent or otherwise in violation of law or agency policy.”
  • Sometimes, migrants were injured trying to traverse the razor wire placed along the riverbank. However, the office said, signs were posted warning of the dangers. Investigators found no evidence that the concertina wire was placed with the intention to injure migrants.

Not everyone is buying the internal investigation. Rep. Joaquin Castro, D-Texas, toured the border recently and observed the razor wire and the floating buoy barrier the state placed in the Rio Grande.

“Remember, senior leaders at @TxDPS lied about Uvalde. Operation Lone Star is a political stunt and DPS leaders have become little more than spokespeople for @GovAbbott. They’ve lost all credibility and there’s no reason to trust them to honestly investigate themselves,” Castro wrote on X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter.