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Justice Department investigating Texas’ Operation Lone Star border security mission

The Department of Justice is investigating Texas’ $3 billion border security mission known as Operation Lone Star for potential civil rights violations, according to state records. 

The Federal Coordination and Compliance Section of the DOJ’s Civil Rights Division sent a letter to the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) on May 16, saying that they’ve been made aware of potentially unlawful activity related to the border security mission. 

“The Department is seeking this information after receiving information indicating that DPS may be discriminating on the basis of race and/or national origin in its activities related to Operation Lone Star by targeting certain individuals for arrests for misdemeanor trespass violations and traffic stops based on their perceived or actual race or national origin,” Christine Stoneman, the chief of the Federal Coordination and Compliance Section, wrote in the May letter to top DPS officials. 

Texas DPS told Fox News Digital on Wednesday that they are cooperating with the request. 

Amanda Hernandez, a spokesperson for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ), said that the DOJ also requested information from them in March 2022 “regarding the agency’s efforts to support Operation Lone Star.” 

TEXAS TRACTOR-TRAILER DRIVER SMILES FOR BORDER PATROL CHECKPOINT CAMERAS HOURS BEFORE MIGRANTS FOUND DEAD 

“TDCJ provided the information that was requested,” Hernandez told Fox News Digital in a statement. “The agency has and continues to follow all state, and federal laws as the state of Texas responds to the ongoing crisis at the border.”

The Texas Tribune and ProPublica originally reported the news of the DOJ’s investigation into Operation Lone Star on Wednesday. 

“If you are not already aware, the Civil Rights Division of the DOJ is investigating Operation Lone Star,” a lawyer at the Department of Public Safety wrote in an email on May 23 to another official, according to an investigation by the news organizations. 

BORDER PATROL ARRESTS OF MIGRANTS ON TERROR WATCH LIST AT SOUTHERN BORDER SPIKE

Gov. Greg Abbott launched the operation last year, saying that ramped-up enforcement by the state is necessary amid inaction by the Biden administration. 

Thousands of state troopers and National Guard members have been dispatched to the border and granted arrest powers. Abbott has also offered thousands of migrants bus rides to Washington, D.C. 

There were 239,416 migrant encounters at the southern border in May, a new record surpassing the previous all-time high of 235,478 encounters that was set in April. 

After 53 migrants died in an abandoned tractor trailer in San Antonio on June 27, Gov. Abbott planed to ramp up Operation Lone Star further by implementing more truck inspections along the border. 

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