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Senator Royce West: District 23
News Release
July 14, 2023
Contact: Kelvin Bass
Senator West says Department of Public Safety’s actions along southern border raise serious questions

DALLAS—State Senator Royce West (D-Dallas) today (Tuesday) issued the following statement on the allegations made by the Houston Chronicle regarding actions of the Texas Department of Public Safety along the Texas border as part of Operation Lone Star.

The issues reported by the Houston Chronicle regarding the activities of the Department of Public Safety and its leadership at our southern border are appalling. The acts and conduct of some officers described are so serious that if such tactics were deployed in a war, they could be alleged to be war crimes and must be investigated by the appropriate legislative oversight committees.

I take very seriously claims that DPS, according to published officer’s accounts, has done things like sink barbed wire covered barrels in the Rio Grande River and instructed troops to push children back into the water from the river banks. It is time for the Legislature, through the committee process, to exercise greater oversight of ongoing DPS and Texas Facilities Commission operations along our southern border.

This is a human rights issue, plain and simple. State dollars cannot fund this type of conduct. As a member of the Senate Finance Committee, I call upon Chairwoman, Senator Joan Huffman, to immediately convene hearings to determine whether state moneys and resources are being utilized appropriately at our southern border. I will not and hopefully my colleagues won’t sit idly by while state taxpayer dollars fund cruelty and human rights abuses.

Additional allegations have been raised in recent weeks about spending on land acquisitions for a border wall or fence on our Southern Border. I intend to ask Senator Huffman to also include this matter as part of any future hearings the Senate Finance Committee may conduct on this matter.

For more information, please contact Kelvin Bass at 214-467-0123 or Vince Leibowitz at 512-463-0123.