Governor Abbott is using local and state law enforcement, not only from Texas but from other states, to usurp federal immigration authority for his own political ploy and to grow the resources and scope of Law Enforcement and Criminal Legal Systems.
The use of the Briscoe Unit has scattered hundreds of incarcerated individuals across the state and away from their families. The Briscoe Unit is operating under two different sets of standards—neither of which is apt for any human being—for suspected migrants and those convicted of crimes and held by TDCJ. This creates a situation that is both dangerous and inhumane for both groups.
Currently, there are more than 300 migrants jailed at Briscoe, and at least 150 of them do not have legal representation; local law officials in Kinney County are making sure of that by tricking migrants into signing pre-filled out forms in English waiving their right to an attorney.
Kinney County Attorney Brent Smith must release all migrants misled into waiving their rights to an attorney held in Briscoe and dismiss all criminal charges. They deserve to be reunited with their loved ones instead of being used as political pawns by Abbott.
Kinney County Judge Tully Shahan can stop this abuse of power and waste of resources by ending Operation Lonestar in Kinney County.