House Democrats are demanding the Biden administration investigate reports that Texas officials are separating families at the U.S.-Mexico border.
The Congressional Hispanic Caucus wrote to Attorney General Merrick Garland and Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas on Tuesday urging them to “take concerted measures” to stop Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) agents from separating fathers from mothers and children along the Rio Grande section of the border.
Democrats previously attacked the Trump administration for implementing a family separation policy to stem the flow of illegal migration at the border.
While Biden has criticized his rival’s policy publicly, his Justice Department has been defending it in court against five migrant mothers who say they and their children suffered from the separation policy while trying to seek asylum.
It’s fueled anger toward President Biden among his progressive allies, particularly as he’s sought to portray himself as a family-first leader. It comes after he admitted under pressure that his son Hunter Biden’s toddler daughter with Arkansas woman Lunden Roberts is indeed his grandchild.
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Migrants await processing by the U.S. Border Patrol after crossing from Mexico on May 10, 2023, in Brownsville, Texas.
“Texas DPS has confirmed that they are separating families by arresting and incarcerating men who arrive with their wives and children as part of Operation Lone Star,” the Democrats said.
“This appears to be an attempt by Gov. Greg Abbott to reinvent cruel and unpopular policies of the previous Trump administration and is a blatant contradiction to the Biden administration’s efforts to keep families together.”
IMAGES SHOW MEN ARMED WITH RIFLES, BODY ARMOR COMING ACROSS SOUTHERN BORDER
The lawmakers accused Texas officials of separating more than two dozen families by jailing 26 men since July 10. They said they are “living in horrendous prison conditions and are possibly being informed of their legal options in ways that arguably coerces a specific course of action.”
House Democrats are demanding Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas investigate reports that migrant families are being separated at the border. (Reuters/Sarah Silbiger)
“For example, CHC members learned, that migrants were being told that they could either wait 6-9 months in jail or, if they want to be reunited with their families, they could plead guilty and get out on bond automatically,” the letter said.
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They also accused Texas officials of keeping those migrant fathers incarcerated for months at a time in “deplorable conditions” before being handed over to federal officials, who then put them on an “expedited” path to be booted from the U.S.
“After the fathers are incarcerated in state or local facilities, they are then transferred to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) custody, with no reference to the families they have been separated from and placed in expedited removal. With little to no communication, mothers and children are traumatized and left wondering what happened to their loved ones,” the letter said.
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“We ask that Secretary Mayorkas investigate these reports and ensure that these fathers are not being placed into expedited removal and immediately reunite the fathers with their families. This should be extended broadly so that parents are not separated from their families and placed into expedited removal.”
Fox News Digital reached out to the Department of Homeland Security and Texas DPS for comment but did not immediately hear back.