Mexico City, Jul 19 (EFE).- Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador expressed disbelief Wednesday about news reports that state troopers in Texas were ordered to push undocumented migrants back into the Rio Grande, the river that forms the border between the United States and Mexico.
“The first thing (pushing migrants) I don’t believe, it would be barbarity. It’s extreme, it’s inhuman, it’s extermination. I don’t believe it,” he said at his daily morning press conference.
But the president, known as AMLO, found the claim that troopers were told to deny water to migrants in the sweltering heat more credible.
“The other thing is possible, that of not giving water to migrants,” he said.
The explosive allegations are based on an email published Monday by the Houston Chronicle in which a Texas state trooper serving on the border as a medic raised concerns with his superiors about the treatment of migrants.
Recounting events during the week of June 24-July 1, the trooper wrote that medics “were given orders to push the people back into the water to go to Mexico” and were likewise told not to give water to the migrants.
The trooper was stationed in Eagle Pass, a town southwest of San Antonio, where Texas troopers deployed last month a line of buoys covered with razor wire.
Republican Gov. Greg Abbott ordered the move as part of Operation Lone Star, a draconian anti-immigration program that has cost the state at least $4.4 billion, according to the San Antonio Current.
In his comments Wednesday, AMLO recalled that in Texas, “they came at one time to hunting migrants.”
“They fomented that hatred of the migrant, which is what they continue doing,” the Mexican president said, repeated his criticism of the deployment of buoys at Eagle Pass, calling it “propaganda, publicity.”
“Because it is a very small strip. It’s to take a photo and grab votes, or try to grab votes, because I also believe that that is not working for them,” he said. “The people of Texas don’t look kindly on it.”
AMLO has been outspoken in his criticism of anti-migrant Republican governors such as Abbott and Florida’s Ron DeSantis, who is seeking the 2024 Republican presidential nomination.
Along with enacting anti-immigration laws, Abbott and DeSantis have both transported migrants to cities such as Washington, New York, and Chicago, without any prior coordination with the authorities in those jurisdictions.
The Republicans justify those measures by accusing Democratic President Joe Biden of adopting a policy of “open borders,” even those immigration authorities detained more than 2.76 million people on the Mexican border over the 12 months ending Sept. 30, 2022.
“The conservative politicians in the United States keep using that anti-immigrant strategy because they think they are going to obtain votes that way. We are going to continued denouncing all of those anti-immigrant, anti-Mexican policies,” AMLO said. EFE ppc/dr