CHILDREN AT RISK give statement after accusations of 'inhumane' treatment at border

On Tuesday, the Office of the Inspector General began investigating accusations made in an email about the mistreatment of migrants at the U.S. border.

The email came from a Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) trooper who alleged a supervisor commanded authorities to push migrants back into the Rio Grande to return to Mexico. The trooper also accuses Texas officials of ordering them not to give migrants water in extreme heat.

RELATED: Controversy at U.S.-Mexico border over accusations of 'inhumane' orders to DPS troopers

This also comes weeks after crews from the State of Texas added new razor wire to the border and buoys on the Rio Grande.

CHILDREN AT RISK, a non-profit aiming to improve the quality of life for Texas' children, released a statement regarding the accusations.

TOPSHOT - Migrants walk by a string of buoys placed on the water along the Rio Grande border with Mexico in Eagle Pass, Texas, on July 16, 2023. The buoy installation is part of an operation Texas is pursuing to secure its borders, but activists and

Their statement says:

"This week, a report highlighted claims that state officials have ordered state troopers and officers working at the border to deny water to migrant children and families and to push them back into the Rio Grande. The claim detailed several incidents of dehydration and injury of children getting caught in concertina wire including: a 4-year-old girl passed out from heat after attempting to cross the wire, a 15-year-old boy broke his leg trying to walk around the wire, and a 19-year-old woman miscarried while caught in the wire. This all comes during one of the hottest summers on record.

These actions harm the safety and well-being of immigrant children who are already facing numerous challenges and vulnerabilities. This places an additional undue burden on these families. As we strive to ensure that all children receive equal protections and are treated humanely, we also demand our law enforcement and state leaders do the same. No child should live in fear of losing their life. We demand accountability and immigration policies that put the safety and well-being of children first.

CHILDREN AT RISK is committed to protecting all children regardless of immigration status. We urge state leaders to ensure the protection and well-being of all children who cross Texas’ southern border."

Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee referred to the treatment as "inhumane" and "not representative of the people of Texas and diverse cities like Houston, Texas" in a virtual press conference Tuesday in response to the trooper’s email.

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DPS Lieutenant Chris Olivarez said this in response to the trooper's email, "I think it was really misinterpreted the way this trooper saw it. Because of that, some of the media outlets have kind of completely changed this around portraying that our troopers as inhumane and that we’re pushing migrants into the river. That in itself is disappointing. It’s upsetting. That’s not what we’re doing."

In another instance, a Honduran migrant was taken into custody on July 16 after authorities say he tossed his young daughter into the Rio Grande while trying to illegally cross the southern border from Mexico into Texas.

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The man, Miguel Ernesto Nunez-Martinez, was detained and faces charges of criminal trespass and felony child endangerment, Texas DPS Lt. Chris Olivarez tweeted.

A spokesperson from Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s Office provided a written statement responding to the accusations:

"Texas is deploying every tool and strategy to deter and repel illegal crossings between ports of entry as President Biden’s dangerous open border policies entice migrants from over 150 countries to risk their lives entering the country illegally," said a spokesperson from Gov. Greg Abbott’s Office. "The absence of razor wire and other deterrence strategies encourages migrants to make unsafe and illegal crossings between ports of entry, while making the job of Texas National Guard soldiers and DPS troopers more dangerous and difficult. President Biden has unleashed a chaos on the border that’s unsustainable, and we have a constitutional duty to respond to this unprecedented crisis."