Illegal Aliens Sue Texas Officials After Arrests for Trespassing

Epoch Times – by Charlotte Cuthbertson

KINNEY COUNTY, Texas—A group of illegal aliens has filed a lawsuit against Texas officials for alleged constitutional violations within the governor’s Operation Lone Star criminal trespass program.

The lawyers for the 15 plaintiffs hope to turn the case into a class action lawsuit on behalf of more than 2,000 illegal immigrants whom they say have been over-incarcerated; arrested based on race, immigration status, or national origin; as well as denied due process.

“In particular, the Plaintiffs and the Class Members have suffered a common cause of injury, namely the violation of their Fourth Amendment and Fourteenth Amendment rights,” the lawsuit states.

“Using state criminal law, the state of Texas and participating counties have created, and are carrying out what is, in reality, a system of state immigration enforcement that targets Black and Brown—primarily Latino—individuals for prosecution and enhanced punishment.”

The lawyers are seeking ​​$18,000 per day for each inmate that is found to have been unlawfully incarcerated or unlawfully reincarcerated. They also seek an injunction to discontinue the Operation Lone Star program.

The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas, Austin division.

Operation Lone Star (OLS) was launched in March 2021, and Gov. Greg Abbott beefed up the number of Texas state troopers on border roads to intercept smuggling operations and Texas National Guardsmen to augment security and observation along the border.

The program was expanded in June last year to allow for illegal immigrants trespassing on private or state land to be arrested and prosecuted. The OLS budget funded jail space for alleged illegal immigrant trespassers, defense counsel, and prosecution resources.

Kinney County and neighboring Val Verde County in south Texas were the first to begin the trespass prosecutions under OLS, and since then, seven more counties have joined, including Edwards, Frio, Jim Hogg, Kimble, Maverick, Uvalde, and Zavala.

Kinney County and its sheriff, Brad Coe, are listed as defendants in the lawsuit, along with Abbott, Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) Director Steve McCraw, and DPS Executive Director Bryan Collier.

“Under the guise of state criminal trespass law but with the explicit, stated goal of punishing migrants based on their immigration status, Texas officials are targeting migrants,” the lawsuit alleges. “OLS targets only migrants, and only men of brown or black skin.

“Hundreds of those arrested have waited in jail for weeks or months without a lawyer, or without charges, or without bond, or without a legitimate detention hold or without a court date.”

County Attorney Brent Smith said his small county has struggled to keep up with the volume of prosecutions—he went from about six cases per month to more than 30 per day.

Epoch Times

4 thoughts on “Illegal Aliens Sue Texas Officials After Arrests for Trespassing

  1. I guess it is time for American citizens to sue Mexico for denial of the right to own property in Mexico near coasts

    1. If only there was a court that operated under law and for the American people, but there ISN’T. Hopefully you don’t believe in such visions of grandeur. Now what?

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