Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s office and the Border Patrol Union on Wednesday pushed back against criticism of the administration’s use of marine barriers after they were tied to the death of a migrant.
Abbott Press Secretary Andrew Mahaleris accused Mexican President Lobez Obrador and Democrats of “spreading false information” that Texas’ marine barriers caused any death.
“Where was this outrage from Democrats when President Biden’s reckless open border policies encouraged migrants to make the dangerous and illegal trek across the border, ultimately taking the lives of over 850 migrants last year,” Mahaleris said.
He argued that the marine barriers help deter illegal river crossings and redirect migrants to use one of the 29 international bridges on the Texas-Mexico border.
“No one drowns on a bridge,” he said.
Mahaleris statement comes a day after Rep. Joaquin Castro of Texas toured the banks of the Rio Grande in Eagle Pass.
In a video posted on his Twitter account, the Democratic congressman criticized the marine barriers – which consist of orange buoys that started being installed last month – as “inhumane” and “barbaric.”
Castro pointed to chainsaw-type devices in the middle of the buoys as well as razor wire preventing migrants from crossing the river.
“You really have a situation where the state government and Greg Abbott are treating people like animals. These are folks who are asylum seekers who are trying to petition for asylum in the United States,” Castro said. “It’s incredibly dangerous, incredibly inhumane. And it’s the reason that I’ve said that it’s barbaric.”
Castro called Operation Lone Star “devastating to the border community” and “dangerous” for migrants as well as the local community.
Castro’s office did not respond to Fox News Digital’s request for further comment.
The controversial border barrier was launched in July as part of Gov. Abbott’s effort to stop migrants crossing along the Rio Grande. His administration argued that it was preventing migrants from crossing the river, and thus saving lives. But humanitarian groups, and the Biden administration, said it posed a safety risk.
That contention gathered steam after Mexico announced it had been notified of a dead boy stuck in the southern part of the buoys and after a second body was later found about 3 miles upriver.
The Border Patrol Union on Wednesday fired back at Castro, saying he needed to “settle down, gather himself, learn some facts and then issue an apology for his dangerous, unhinged diatribe.”
Per NBPC, there have been more than 340 migrant drownings in the Rio Grande since Biden took office – averaging 2.6 deaths per week.
The union noted that – despite two drowning deaths in recent weeks – the water buoys have “drastically reduced the number of illegal crossings.” Yet the “liberal media” has still accused the governor of being a “murderous thug,” NBPC said.
The union pointed out that in all four years of the Trump administration there were 201 drowning deaths in the Rio Grande.
Fox News’ Adam Shaw contributed to this report.
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