A “prominent” Texas judge who has been handling cases under Gov. Greg Abbott’s racist border scheme primarily targeting migrants of color has been accused by a defense attorney of using a vile anti-Latino slur. The Texas Tribune reports that Allen Amos, a judge who has been overseeing trespassing cases leveled under the Operation Lone Star scheme, said defendants weren’t “your regular wetbacks.” A complaint about the slur was filed to the State Commission on Judicial Conduct by Emily Miller, the defense attorney to whom Amos made the remark.
“Miller is asking the commission to consider whether Amos’ alleged comment violates the Texas Judicial Code of Conduct,” the report said. “On Monday, Amos told the Tribune he would not comment on the complaint but would ‘have to wait for the judicial ethics people.’” Not exactly a denial, is it?
RELATED STORY: At least 30 people have been killed as a result of Greg Abbott's racist Operation Lone Star scheme
Amos allegedly used the slur when discussing his apparent belief that asylum-seekers swept up under the racist policy are more affluent. “They have phones and clothes and all kinds of other things,” he reportedly said. Ah yes, because we all know that cell phones and clothes these days are so expensive that they continue to be reserved for the privileged few. These migrants are not “your regular wetbacks,” he continued. The Texas Tribune said the complaint was first reported by The Daily Beast.
Of course, the worry now is the cases handled by the judge. “I have had several indigent clients of Guatemalan, Honduran, and Mexican descent whose bonds have recently been revoked by Judge Amos, and his presumed bias against my clients by calling them ‘wetbacks’ and mentioning their supposed affluence leads me to question whether he made an unbiased decision in their hearings,” Miller wrote in the complaint. Amos has also steadily refused to lower bond amounts, leaving men to languish in jail for as long as 100 days at at time, The Texas Tribune reported.
”A former Concho County judge, 80-year-old Amos was tapped by the Kinney County judge to oversee a large group of the migrant trespassing cases in the county that has most zealously prosecuted them,” the report said. A number of state and national civil rights organizations have previously noted the role that Kinney County has played in this border scheme in a Title VI discrimination complaint last winter.
Around that same time, the Kinney County judge dismissed three retired judges who had been overseeing cases under the policy. What did all three state-appointed judges have in common? They’ve “often agreed” to allow detained men to be released on bail, The Texas Tribune reported at the time. Tully Shahan, the Kinney County judge, then asked for five of his own picks to be installed. Amos was among them. “This is clearly retaliation against the judges who have been releasing hundreds of people and dismissing deficient cases under Operation Lone Star and is a threat to the rule of law,” Texas Fair Defense Project Executive Director Amanda Woog said in the report at the time.
Abbott’s racist Operation Lone Star scheme, which has reportedly been under investigation by the Justice Department since at least May, has also been deadly, a recent report shockingly revealed.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Texas and Texas Civil Rights Project said that state Department of Public Safety officers have racially profiled drivers under the policy, with some of this harassment turning into unnecessary high-speed chases. They say at least 30 people have been killed as a result, including five bystanders who had nothing to do with the stops. “Federal civil rights investigation and intervention is urgently needed,” the two organizations said in a complaint.
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