Major immigrant and civil rights organizations including the ACLU of Texas, Texas Civil Rights Project, and Texas Fair Defense Project, with the support of over 100 organizations, jointly filed a Title VI discrimination complaint with the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) urging a formal investigation of Texas’ Operation Lone Star migrant arrest program. Further partner organizations, including Grassroots Leadership, joined in sending a letter to the DOJ urging that the agency investigate the complaint.
The complaint outlines the unlawful elements of Operation Lone Star under which Texas law enforcement officers target migrants for arrest, jailing, and criminal prosecution for the state criminal offense of “trespassing.” The complaint further details evidence of racial profiling and biased policing. It demonstrates that state and local agencies deliberately target people for arrest based on perceived race and national origin and channel those arrested into a shadow criminal legal system that violates fundamental constitutional rights. Virtually all if not all of those arrested through Operation Lone Star are Black and Brown people and predominantly migrants.
Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 bars discrimination on the basis of race, color, or national origin in any program or activity receiving federal financial assistance. The groups are requesting that DOJ investigate the Operation Lone Star program and end federal funding to Texas state and local agencies found to engage in discrimination.