Operation Lone Star Gains National Support From State Governors
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 activity between ports of entry.
Since the launch of Operation Lone Star, the multi-agency effort has led to over 420,800 illegal immigrant apprehensions and more than 33,600 criminal arrests, with more than 30,500 felony charges reported. In the fight against fentanyl, Texas law enforcement has seized over 426 million lethal doses of fentanyl during this border mission.
Texas has also bused:
- Over 11,100 migrants to Washington, D.C. since April 2022
- Over 12,600 migrants to New York City since August 2022
- Over 5,900 migrants to Chicago since August 2022
- Over 2,400 migrants to Philadelphia since November 2022
- Over 870 migrants to Denver since May 18
- Over 360 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:
Governor Abbott on Monday held a press conference in Eagle Pass with Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds, Nebraska Governor Jim Pillen, Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt, and South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem to provide an update on their joint efforts under Texas' Operation Lone Star to respond to President Biden's reckless open border policies. The border visit comes after Governor Abbott sent letters to America's Governors in May requesting support for Texas’ border security mission following President Biden's decision to end Title 42.
"These Governors here with me today are deploying military and law enforcement officers to help Texas secure the border," said Governor Abbott. “We, as states, share an obligation and that's to step up and address this unparalleled catastrophe caused by President Biden."
Prior to the press conference, Governor Abbott held a border security briefing with his fellow Governors where they received updates from DPS Director Steve McCraw, Texas Adjutant General Major General Thomas Suelzer, and Texas Border Czar Mike Banks on the multitude of effective strategies used by Operation Lone Star to secure the border, including Texas' floating marine barriers installed in the Rio Grande River.
As of this week, 14 states—Arkansas, Florida, Iowa, Idaho, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wyoming—have stepped up to support Texas' efforts and deployed personnel and resources to secure the border in President Biden's absence.
Texas Border Czar Banks this week explained how Texas' floating marine barriers are safely deterring dangerous and illegal river crossings. As President Biden’s open border policies continue to sow chaos along the southern border, there have been no illegal crossing attempts at these barriers in the Rio Grande River.
“The buoys work, and they prevent migrants from making the dangerous crossing and putting themselves at risk,” said Border Czar Banks.
DPS Lt. Olivarez joined NewsNation to discuss the support Texas is receiving from other states for border security amid President Biden’s ongoing refusal to secure America’s southern border. Lt. Olivarez pointed out that despite the assets and personnel deployed to the border by Texas and our partner states, meaningful change will require a new President to enforce federal immigration laws to stem the flow of illegal immigration.
“The only way to stop people from crossing the river illegally is to have consequences and policies in place, but having additional support from other law enforcement and National Guards does provide value to the operation and what we’re doing for the state of Texas and entire country,” said Lt. Olivarez. “We see threats that are very significant to public safety and national security. We’re still seeing 5,000-6,000 daily encounters between ports of entry. That does not include gotaways or the number of people who are being released at the ports of entry. The numbers have not decreased. As long as you do not have consequences in place, people are going to continue to cross that river.”
A DPS trooper, with assistance from the Florida Highway Patrol, stopped a vehicle in Kinney County and discovered several illegal immigrants trying to conceal themselves inside.
The driver, an illegal immigrant from Mexico, and the passenger from Florence were arrested and charged with smuggling of persons and unlawful carrying of a firearm. Three illegal immigrants from Mexico were referred to Border Patrol.
A driver from Houston led DPS troopers on a high-speed vehicle pursuit in Kinney County. The smuggler eventually bailed out and attempted to evade on foot. After a short pursuit, the driver was arrested and charged with smuggling of persons and evading arrest. Five illegal immigrants were apprehended and referred to Border Patrol.
Texas National Guard soldiers stopped human smugglers attempting to use a raft to cross the Rio Grande River last week. In coordination with state and federal law enforcement partners, soldiers helped repel the smugglers back into Mexico.
Soldiers utilize advanced tracking hardware and software to accurately detect the positions of migrants and use their knowledge and experience of tracking people through the terrain that surrounds the southern border. Migrants will often hide in the tall reeds and thick brush that line the banks of the river before they are taken by smugglers further into the United States.
“It’s like a game of hide and seek,” said Spc. Ragland, Alpha Company, Task Force Center. "If law enforcement calls out a raft of illegal immigrants coming across the river, we go down there. Usually when they see us, they head back into the river and cross back into Mexico.”
DPS Troopers Recover Four Unaccompanied Children Abandoned By Smugglers
In the span of just 24 hours, DPS troopers recovered four unaccompanied children who had been abandoned by human smugglers near the Rio Grande in Eagle Pass.
Operation Lone Star Partners Locate Backpack With Russian-Made Ammunition
DPS and Texas Game Wardens serving as part of Operation Lone Star located a backpack containing Russian-made 7.62 ammunition. The bag had been abandoned near the Rio Grande River in Starr County.