U.S. Rep. Joaquin Castro took a group of his fellow Democrat lawmakers to Eagle Pass, where they called for the federal government to suspend cooperation with Operation Lone Star.

Joining Castro on the trip were U.S. Reps. Sheila Jackson Lee (CD18) and Sylvia Garcia (CD29), and State Sen. Roland Gutierrez (San Antonio), who is running in the Democrat primary for U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz’ seat.

Castro recorded his reaction to the border buoys and posted it to X (formerly Twitter). He called a part of the buoy a “chainsaw-type device” and pointing to a metal edge.

Meanwhile, Garcia described concertina wire around Eagle Pass’ Shelby Park – a hotspot for illegal crossings – as “disheartening to see … used on innocent people.” In her video, Garcia said Shelby Park used to be where “migrants” would gather after crossing the river, but that has come to a halt because of Operation Lone Star.

The group then convened at Eagle Pass City Hall for a roundtable with members from the Maverick County Democrat Party, including those from the Eagle Pass Border Coalition, an organization founded to oppose border wall measures.

Jesse Fuentes, a Border Coalition member who was present at the roundtable, is the owner of Epi’s Canoe & Kayak Team. He is currently suing Gov. Greg Abbott for his implementation of the floating buoy barrier, claiming it will cause “irreparable harm” to his business.

The elected officials accused Abbott of violating illegal aliens’ civil rights through the “inhumane” use of the buoy barrier. They called for the federal government to step in and fast-track litigation filed against the buoys and asked the federal government to end cooperation with Operation Lone Star altogether.

Throughout the meeting, illegal aliens were strictly referred to as “asylum seekers.”

“If Gov. Abbott won’t listen to his constituents and bring this cruelty to an end, the federal government needs to step in with the full force of its authority,” said Castro.

“After what I’ve seen here today, I’m calling on the Biden administration to end all cooperation between Customs and Border Protection and the Texas Department of Public Safety except for that which protects the health and safety of asylum seekers at least until ongoing investigation can be completed into human and civil rights violations and the Department of Justice’s lawsuit against the state of Texas can be resolved,” he added.

Democrats attributed two deaths to the border buoys, but those claims have been debunked. Both deaths occurred upstream and the bodies were later found stuck in the floating barrier.

Texas’ Border Czar Mike Banks has blamed the nation’s open border policies for causing a record number of deaths while saying the buoy barrier has caused none.

Todd Bensman, a senior fellow at the Center for Immigration Studies, defended the use of the barriers. “The water barrier works. That’s why they hate it. As a senior Texas law enforcement official told me: ‘No one’s getting near it. No one’s going over it. No one’s going under it. I’d like to have another two miles of it.’”

The latest figures from U.S. Customs and Border Protection show that while monthly border encounters decreased somewhat in June, they are still nearly twice as high as when President Biden first took office in January of 2021.

Valerie Muñoz

Valerie Muñoz is a native South Texan and student at Texas A&M University, where she studies journalism. She is passionate about delivering clear and comprehensive news to Texans.