Challenging Injustice, Advancing Human Rights

The Unitarian Universalist Service Committee advances human rights through grassroots collaborations.

UUSC Response to Texas’ Operation Lone Star and Reports of Mistreatment of People in Migration at the Border

In response to recent reports that Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s Operation Lone Star is subjecting people exercising their right to migrate to inhumane treatment, UUSC Lead Executive Officer and President Rev. Mary Katherine Morn issued the following statement:

“The reports coming from the media are absolutely gut wrenching. From a pregnant woman miscarrying after getting stuck in razor wire to exhausted people being forced back into the Rio Grande River and facing the real possibility of death, Operation Lone Star has brought out the worst in our law enforcement, the state of Texas, and our country.

“This operation has spent more than $4 billion in the last two years to keep out of the country people exercising their human right to migrate. That $4 billion could have been used to provide resources and support for border communities and those coming into the nation. It could have been used to create humane solutions to the surge of people entering the United States at the southwest border.

“Instead, Texas has spent $4 billion on operations that put people in imminent danger rather than treating them with the basic human dignity we all deserve. Forcing people who’ve already risked their lives crossing the Rio Grande—one of the most dangerous migration routes—back into the water, denying children drinking water in temperatures in excess of 100 degrees, and erecting razor wire that has maimed dozens of people are actions not in the best interest of the American people or those trying to build new lives in the United States.

“How long will we continue to allow blatant and gross human rights violations to go unchallenged for the sake of “national security” or “keeping our borders safe?” Was it in the best interest of national security to whip Haitian asylum-seekers attempting to cross the Rio Grande? Will floating barriers stretching across the already-treacherous river keep our borders safe or increase the death toll of those desperate to enter this nation?

“The Rio Grande is becoming a battleground, one where acts of injustice not only strip those in migration of their humanity, but lay bare our own inhumanity as a people who passively watch as these injustices are committed for the entire world to witness. Now is not the time to idly observe. Each of us is called into action to say, “No! It is past time for Governor Abbott to end Operation Lone Star and work collaboratively across parties and ideological differences to find a peaceful and humane process for accepting those in migration. With every act of violence and apathy perpetrated against those in migration, this nation loses a bit more of its soul as we casually watch without staunch objection. We can do better.

“Help us do better by taking an action to demand that immigration detention policies be made humane and/or asking your U.S. senator to pass legislation to make the citizenship process easier for those coming into the nation.”