I took most of the day off today because it was my birthday and I am with my family on vacation, but I wanted to share an article by Kevin Clarke for America on the response of the Texas bishops to recent revelations about what’s happening at the border. Excerpt:
Operation Lone Star was launched by Gov. Greg Abbott of Texas in March 2021, a unilateral response to conditions at the border with Mexico that the Catholic governor charged had reached crisis proportions. The operation, at a cost so far of an estimated $4.5 billion, included the enlistment of Texas National Guard air, ground and marine capacity to patrol “high threat areas to deny Mexican Cartels and other smugglers the ability to move drugs and people into Texas.”
Lone Star has turned to increasingly controversial methods to attempt to prevent migrating people from crossing the border, including the deployment of more than 60 miles of concertina wire. That border control tactic provoked an official complaint from the government of Mexico and was judged by policy experts a violation of international law.
The Texas bishops have released a statement:
“Recent media reports present a disturbing account of horrific tragedies occurring along the Rio Grande on the Texas/Mexico border.
These reports stir our hearts again for the plight of our sisters and brothers who are seeking a better life. These mothers, fathers, children, and others are doing what anyone would do to find a better life. They have moved to secure honest work and a safe community. The fact that they were born in a place which could not provide these basic human rights does not give anyone the right to treat them inhumanely.
For decades, the United States’ migration policies have failed to address sufficiently the root causes of migration. They have failed to uphold our country’s principle to welcome all who seek a life free of tyranny.
We have a responsibility, as faithful citizens, to work with our government officials to ensure the dignity of all, an ideal enshrined on the Statue of Liberty: “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.”
We ask all people of goodwill to join us in this work, and to join us in praying for our brothers and sisters experiencing the harsh realities of this journey, and for all who encounter them.”
Image: A Border Patrol Riverine Unit conducts patrols in an Air and Marine Air-Boat in South Texas, Laredo, along the Rio Grande Valley river, Photographer: Donna Burton. Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0).