In a recent press call, El Paso Congresswoman Veronica Escobar accused Texas Governor Greg Abbott of attempting to “gaslight” the public regarding the tragic drowning of a migrant woman and her two children in Eagle Pass, as first reported by Texas Public Radio.
The incident has become a focal point in the ongoing controversy surrounding Abbott’s border security initiative, Operation Lone Star.
Initially, reports suggested that the Texas National Guard’s denial of access to Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents led to the drownings. However, a Department of Justice filing at the Supreme Court revealed that the bodies had already been recovered when CBP made contact with the Guard.
Abbott and other Republicans swiftly redirected blame away from Operation Lone Star, pointing fingers at the Biden administration. Notably, they omitted the fact that CBP surveillance equipment, crucial for early detection, was removed by the Texas National Guard when it took control of Shelby Park.
“The Border Patrol, which is trained and equipped to save lives, was not allowed to be at Shelby Park,” Escobar said. “And by not being allowed, that means their equipment was not allowed, and it means they did not have visibility. Had they had visibility, had personnel been there, had their equipment been there, they might have been able to prevent those drownings before they happened.”
This incident follows a disturbing pattern, as highlighted in a recent TPR video showing Texas National Guardsmen failing to aid a woman and child in the Rio Grande. Escobar pointed out a similar complaint in July, where officers allegedly pushed children back into the river and denied water to asylum seekers.
Escobar, co-author of the ‘Comprehensive Dignity Act of 2023‘ with Republican Rep. Maria Elvira Salazar, urged bipartisan efforts to address the broken immigration system, as reported by Texas Public Radio.
“I welcome my Republican colleagues to join some of their Republican colleagues in finally addressing what is a broken system,” Escobar said, “and to stop the dehumanization of migrants.”