Law \ Legal

A Texas Border County Wages War Against Migrants

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Officials in rural Kinney County, Texas, who declared a state of disaster in 2021 due to “illegal aliens invading,” and then doubled-down in July of 2022 to declare their 16 miles of border with Mexico under invasion, have received millions in funding from the state to militarize already overpoliced Latino communities and deny migrants a right to due process and asylum, reports Melissa del Bosque for The Intercept.

Ranchers have been empowered to call hundred-person selection jury trials for simple misdemeanor trespassing charges against migrants crossing into their property. County attorney Brent Smith, one of the main proponents of these efforts, envisions setting up ad hoc “man camps,” similar to those used for crews on oil rigs, of prosecutors specifically tasked with going after migrants. Kinney County Sheriff Brad Coe has sought to deputize militias to patrol the border and outwardly supports the ones currently in operation despite their murky legal standing.

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