UNITED STATES NEWS

Texas trooper’s accounts of bloodied and fainting migrants on US-Mexico border unleashes criticism

Jul 18, 2023, 2:12 PM

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s escalating measures to stop migrants along the U.S. border with Mexico came under a burst of new criticism Tuesday after a state trooper said migrants were left bloodied from razor-wire barriers and that orders were given to deny people water in sweltering heat.

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.

Travis Considine, a spokesperson for the Texas Department of Safety, said the accounts provided by the trooper were under internal investigation. He said the department has no directive or policy that instructs troopers to withhold water from migrants or push them back into the river.

The emails, arresting migrants on trespassing charges.

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters Tuesday that the trooper’s account, if true, was “abhorrent” and “dangerous.” Democrats in the Texas Capitol said they planned to investigate.

“We are talking about the bedrock values of who we are as a country and the human indecency that we are seeing,” Jean-Pierre said. “If this is true, it is just completely, completely wrong.”

In one instance, according to Wingate, a 4-year-old girl attempting to cross through razor wire was “pressed back” by Texas National Guard soldiers in accordance with orders and that the child later fainted from the heat. Temperatures in Maverick County this summer have soared into the triple-digits.

Maverick County Sheriff Tom Schmerber, who has supported the state deploying workers to the border, said he was taken aback by the trooper’s account.

“I don’t agree with whatever they were told to do,” Schmerber said. “That’s not something that’s part of our mission. You know, I know that we’re here to protect and serve no matter who it is, you know, either immigrants or U.S. citizens. But we’re not going to do any harm to anybody.”

Wingate did not immediately return an email message seeking comment Tuesday. The Texas Military Department also did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

As concern and outrage over the trooper’s account mounted Tuesday, Abbott issued a statement that said no orders have been given “that would compromise the lives of those attempting to cross the border illegally.” The statement did not address Wingate’s specific accounts and defended the border mission overall.

Abbott’s statement said the razor wire “snags clothing” but did not address the accounts of migrants being cut and bloodied by the barrier.

“The absence of these tools and strategies—including concertina wire that snags clothing—encourages migrants to make potentially life-threatening and illegal crossings. Through Operation Lone Star, Texas continues stepping up to respond to the unprecedented humanitarian crisis at our southern border,” Abbott said.

The email chain with the trooper included a log showing 38 encounters between June 25 and July 1 with migrants in need of medical assistance, ranging from weakness to lacerations, broken limbs and drownings in which life-saving measures were required. A dozen were under a year old.

Other accounts included a 19-year-old woman who was found cut by the wire and having a miscarriage. The others had cuts or broken bones as a result of where the wires were placed, according to the email.

“We need to operate it correctly in the eyes of God,” Wingate wrote.

In response to Wingate’s accounts, McCraw sent an email saying “the priority of life requires that we rescue migrants from harm and we will continue to do so.”

A separate email exchange obtained by The Associated Press dated July 14 shows McCraw receiving pictures, originally sent by U.S. Customs and Border Patrol, of injuries caused by the sharp wire placed by Texas officials.

The pictures showed some injuries that required stitches as well as bloodied hands and legs.

___

Associated Press reporter Valerie Gonzalez in McAllen, Texas, contributed to this report.

United States News

Associated Press

A meteor streaked across the NYC skyline before disintegrating over New Jersey

NEW YORK (AP) — A meteor streaked across the New York City skyline before disintegrating over nearby New Jersey, according to NASA. William Cooke, the head of the space agency’s Meteoroid Environments Office, said the fireball was first sighted at an altitude of 51 miles (82 kilometers) above Manhattan at around 11:17 a.m. Tuesday. The […]

6 minutes ago

A fire burns at the Warren Grove Air To Ground Range, Tuesday, July 16, 2024. in Bass River Townshi...

Associated Press

Forest fire at New Jersey military base 80% contained after overnight rain

BASS RIVER, N.J. (AP) — Heavy rain overnight helped firefighters gain more control over a forest fire burning at a military bombing range in southern New Jersey. Fire officials said Wednesday that half an inch (1.3 centimeters) of rain fell overnight at the Warren Grove Air to Ground Range, a training facility for the New […]

28 minutes ago

FILE - Former Trump White House advisor Peter Navarro speaks to the media as he leaves federal cour...

Associated Press

Ex-Trump adviser Peter Navarro is released from prison and is headed to Milwaukee to address the RNC

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Former Trump White House official Peter Navarro was released from prison on Wednesday after completing his sentence for a contempt of Congress conviction and is expected to speak hours later at the Republican National Convention. Navarro, who served as a White House trade adviser under President Donald Trump, was freed from custody […]

40 minutes ago

Associated Press

A Texas school that was built to segregate Mexican American students becomes a national park

A west Texas school built in 1909 for Mexican and Mexican American students as part of “separate but equal” education segregation was designated Wednesday as a national park. U.S. Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland formally established the Blackwell School National Historic Site in Marfa, Texas, as the nation’s newest national park and the seventh […]

51 minutes ago

President Joe Biden speaks at a 2024 Prosperity Summit Tuesday, July 16, 2024, in North Las Vegas, ...

Associated Press

Nearly two-thirds of Democrats want Biden to withdraw, new AP-NORC poll finds

WASHINGTON (AP) — Nearly two-thirds of Democrats say President Joe Biden should withdraw from the presidential race and let his party nominate a different candidate, according to a new poll, sharply undercutting his post-debate claim that “average Democrats” are still with him even if some “big names” are turning on him. The new survey by […]

54 minutes ago

Follow @ktar923...

Sponsored Content by Sanderson Ford

3 storylines to get you revved up for the 2024 Arizona Cardinals

Arizona Cardinals training camp is just a couple weeks away starting on July 25, and Sanderson Ford is revved up and ready to go.

Sponsored Articles

...

Sanderson Ford

3 new rides for 3 new road trips in Arizona

It's time for the Sanderson Ford Memorial Day sale with the Mighty Fine 69 Anniversary, as Sanderson Ford turned 69 years old in May.

...

Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Beat the heat, ensure your AC unit is summer-ready

With temperatures starting to rise across the Valley, now is a great time to be sure your AC unit is ready to withstand the sweltering summer heat.

...

COLLINS COMFORT MASTERS

Here are 5 things Arizona residents need to know about their HVAC system

It's warming back up in the Valley, which means it's time to think about your air conditioning system's preparedness for summer.

Texas trooper’s accounts of bloodied and fainting migrants on US-Mexico border unleashes criticism