Operation Lone Star Defends Texas’ Right To Secure The Border
Governor Greg Abbott, the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS), and the Texas National Guard are continuing to work together to secure the border; stop the smuggling of drugs, weapons, and people into Texas; and prevent, detect, and interdict transnational criminal behavior between ports of entry.
Since the launch of Operation Lone Star, the multi-agency effort has led to over 397,900 illegal immigrant apprehensions and more than 31,800 criminal arrests, with more than 29,300 felony charges reported. In the fight against fentanyl, Texas law enforcement has seized over 422 million lethal doses of fentanyl during this border mission.
Texas has also bused:
- Over 10,600 migrants to Washington, D.C. since April 2022
- Over 10,500 migrants to New York City since August 5
- Over 4,300 migrants to Chicago since August 31
- Over 2,000 migrants to Philadelphia since November 15
- Over 350 migrants to Denver since May 18
- Over 200 migrants to Los Angeles since June 14
Operation Lone Star continues to fill the dangerous gaps created by the Biden Administration's refusal to secure the border. Every individual who is apprehended or arrested and every ounce of drugs seized would have otherwise made their way into communities across Texas and the nation due to President Joe Biden's open border policies.
RECENT HIGHLIGHTS FROM OPERATION LONE STAR:
On Monday, Governor Abbott sent a letter to President Biden defending Texas’ right to secure the border through the recent deployment of floating marine barriers in the Rio Grande River in Eagle Pass as part of the state's unprecedented response to America’s ongoing border crisis.
The Governor's letter counters threats by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) to sue the state over the barriers, pointing out that the U.S. Constitution grants Texas sovereign authority to protect its borders because the President refuses to enforce federal immigration laws. Later that day, the DOJ announced their lawsuit against the State of Texas over the floating marine barriers.
Governor Abbott joined The Chris Salcedo Show on Newsmax this week where he refuted the Biden Administration's criticism of Operation Lone Star and the DOJ's lawsuit to stop Texas from deterring illegal immigration along the southern border.
"Texas is the only governmental body in the United States of America that's actually preventing people from entering our country illegally," said Governor Abbott. "It's only Texas that is abiding by the Constitution, using our constitutional authority to deny illegal immigrants access to our country."
Governor Abbott joined Fox News host Bret Baier this week where he responded to claims by the DOJ alleging that the State of Texas is violating federal law by deploying floating marine barriers in the Rio Grande River to prevent illegal crossings from Mexico into Texas.
"It is in the public interest of Texas to be safeguarding and securing our border from people entering the United States illegally," said Governor Abbott. "What the State of Texas is doing through those buoys is not in violation of the statute. Texas is defending its sovereignty and constitutional right to secure the border of our state and our country."
Governor Abbott joined Dana Loesch on Wednesday where he disputed the DOJ's claims against Texas' authority to secure the border through the recent deployment of floating marine barriers in the Rio Grande River and highlighted the state's constitutional right to defend the Texas-Mexico border.
"This is a topsy-turvy, Alice in Wonderland-type approach by the Biden Administration," said Governor Abbott. "We need a President of the United States that is going to enforce the laws of the United States that prevent illegal immigration. That means denying entry between ports of entry."
DPS Lt. Chris Olivarez joined Fox News this week to discuss Governor Abbott's response to the DOJ’s lawsuit against Texas over the newly deployed floating marine barriers in the Rio Grande River near Eagle Pass. Lt. Olivarez highlighted Governor Abbott's argument that Texas has sovereign authority to defend its border because President Biden continues to refuse to do his job to secure America’s border.
"The Governor made it very clear that he has the sovereign authority to protect his state under the U.S. Constitution, and that's what we're doing right now," said Lt. Olivarez. “The Governor is not backing down. That's an example of strong leadership. The Governor also made it very clear that if the federal government truly cares about human life, they would follow and enforce the immigration laws. They refuse to do that."
Operation Lone Star Partners Repel Nearly 50 Migrants In Eagle Pass
On Tuesday evening, DPS troopers and Texas National Guard soldiers repelled nearly 50 migrants from Venezuela after the group attempted to breach through the port of entry at International Bridge 1 in Eagle Pass, causing a shut down.
The group of migrants dispersed from the bridge and attempted to cross illegally through the Rio Grande River. They were met and repelled on the U.S. side of the river by Operation Lone Star personnel at the border.
A 14-year-old smuggler lead DPS troopers on a high-speed vehicle pursuit in Webb County earlier this week. The driver stopped and allowed several illegal immigrants to bail out in the brush, and the pursuit continued through several neighborhoods. With assistance from DPS aircraft and Ohio State Patrol supporting Operation Lone Star, the driver was eventually arrested.
Four illegal immigrants were apprehended and referred to Border Patrol.
A confirmed Valluco gang member and human smuggler from Laredo led DPS troopers on a high-speed pursuit that ended when he crashed into a fence trying to avoid capture. The smuggler was arrested and charged with smuggling of persons and evading arrest.
Four illegal immigrants were referred to Border Patrol.
Texas National Guard Surveillance Response Company Deters Illegal Crossings
Texas National Guard soldiers from the Surveillance Response Company (SRC) turned back a group of migrants attempting to illegally cross into Texas from Mexico earlier this week. The soldiers were alerted by ground sensors of potential illegal crossings. Using night vision goggles, a soldier spotted the group walking along the dense brush on the bank of the Rio Grande River. The SRC moved into position to intercept the group, beginning a foot chase. The group of migrants tried to hide but instead jumped back into the river and swam back to Mexico’s shore.
"We offer reconnaissance capabilities with roving vehicles and foot patrols along the Rio Grande River, and our marine unit provides a military presence that prevents transnational criminals from spilling across the border," said SRC team member Sgt. Rick Torres. "I find my job with the SRC to be extremely rewarding, whether we are rescuing migrants on the verge of drowning or assisting our counterparts with deterring drugs and human smuggling. Being on the frontline of our border for this long, I can see we are making a positive impact. We are making Texas safer for our communities and families."
Texas National Guard Sgt. Robert Guilherme, a squad leader for Task Force Center on Operation Lone Star, describes his experience of leading soldiers to track, detect, and apprehend illegal immigrants on the southern border near Laredo. Brush teams in this area have close contact with several groups of illegal immigrants every night, many of whom are gang members affiliated with cartels. It is also common for illegal crossers to be smuggling narcotics, cash, or weapons on their person.
“We have a lot more turnbacks than we had previously," said Sgt. Guilherme. "However, the overall numbers have gone down a little bit. Now, migrants are trying harder to get away. There has been a little bit more increase in aggression by the migrants, but their focus now more so is getting away since they can be prosecuted. Now, they can be prosecuted and actually serve jail time for coming over if they get caught."