Operation Lone Star Repels Rush Of Illegal Immigrants At El Paso Border

March 17, 2023 | Austin, Texas | Press Release

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 357,000 illegal immigrant apprehensions and more than 26,000 criminal arrests, with more than 23,000 felony charges reported. In the fight against fentanyl, DPS has seized over 367 million lethal doses of fentanyl during this border mission.

Operation Lone Star continues to fill the dangerous gaps left 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 Biden's open border policies.


WATCH: Governor Abbott Touts Role Of Operation Lone Star In Securing Border

As President Biden continues to ignore the crisis at America’s southern border, Governor Abbott is working to protect Texans from transnational criminal activity and secure the border from record-high levels of illegal immigration.

“Texans are furious about the lawlessness caused by President Biden’s open border policies,” said Governor Abbott. “Texas has done more than any state ever to secure our border.”

WATCH: DPS Lt. Olivarez Slams Failed Policies After Surge Of Illegal Immigrants

DPS Lt. Chris Olivarez joined Fox News this week to discuss the ongoing chaos at the southern border days after a surge of over 1,000 illegal immigrants rushed the border at El Paso and attempted to enter the U.S. illegally. He notes that large groups of migrants are also waiting in Mexico to enter with the Biden Administration’s CBP One mobile app, which has not stemmed the flow of illegal immigration.

“That’s an example of failed border policies, and we’re seeing this mad surge of people coming across the border,” said Lt. Olivarez. “There have been reports that the CBP One app is not working, and that’s why people are getting frustrated. The cartels are also spreading messages on social media to try to get people to come across and distract law enforcement. They want to expose more vulnerable gaps along the border so they can bring across criminals, fugitives, or drugs.”

WATCH: DPS Regional Director Sanchez Details Plans For Mass Migration Events

DPS West Texas Regional Director Jose Sanchez described to Fox News how last weekend's rush of illegal immigrants at the border in El Paso unfolded and how DPS' coordinated efforts with law enforcement partners identify border vulnerabilities and prevent mass illegal immigration. After the surge of 15,000 Haitians near Del Rio in 2021, DPS has worked with border security partners to ensure a rapid response to escalating mass migration events along the Texas-Mexico border.

“Thank goodness that Governor Abbott is in big support of Operation Lone Star West,” said Regional Director Sanchez. “He has provided us with the resources that we need to help prevent an incursion like this.”

WATCH: Texas National Guard Helps Repel Surge Of Illegal Immigrants At El Paso

Texas National Guard soldiers worked alongside Operation Lone Star partners to repel the surge of illegal immigrants who rushed the border at El Paso last weekend. Texas Border Czar Mike Banks explained how mass migration incidents like these will continue as long as the federal government fails to take action to secure the border.

“The soldiers and troopers did an outstanding job assisting [with the bridge incident], but I think this is just the beginning,” said Border Czar Banks. “We have immigrants amassing at our southern border hoping for a chance to apply. When they get tired of waiting, tired of the broken promises, they are going to start pushing forward.”

WATCH: DPS Lt. Olivarez Highlights Growing Dangers For Americans Along Border

DPS Lt. Olivarez spoke with Fox News about DPS’ warning to Americans to avoid traveling to Mexico amid escalating violence, after a group of Americans was recently kidnapped and murdered in Matamoros and as three women remain missing after crossing the border from Texas. With Mexican cartels continuing to profit off President Biden’s open border policies, a federal designation as foreign terrorist organizations is more critical than ever. Last September, Governor Abbott designated Mexican drug cartels as terrorist organizations.

“How many more Americans are we going to lose with this continued disaster, with fentanyl coming across our border and these cartels that are more powerful than ever before,” said Lt. Olivarez. “Something needs to be done. There’s enough rhetoric and talk, but it’s time for the federal government to take responsibility and go after these organizations with a designation of terrorist organizations.”

WATCH: DPS Lt. Olivarez Explains Recent DPS Warning Against Travel To Mexico

DPS Lt. Olivarez spoke with CNN to highlight the growing threat of violence along the Texas-Mexico border, with rival cartels fighting each other over territory and drug smuggling routes that create a highly volatile situation in the region. Despite President Biden turning a blind eye to the ongoing chaos at the southern border, DPS says the first step in curbing the Mexican cartels’ violence would be a federal designation as terrorist organizations.

“We are very concerned at the state level with the increased violence and the Mexican drug cartels that represent a significant threat to anyone who crosses into Mexico,” said Lt. Olivarez. “We know that many Americans have traveled to resorts like in Cancun without incident, but we can’t ignore the risks. The cartels now have a heavy influence in Mexico, even in those resorts.”

WATCH: Teenage Smuggler Leads DPS On High-Speed Pursuit With Infant In Car

A 16-year-old smuggler led DPS troopers on a high-speed vehicle pursuit in Webb County with an infant inside the car. During the pursuit, the driver from Laredo ran several red lights and went through a construction zone. He eventually crashed into a canal, where he was arrested.

He is charged with smuggling of persons. Six illegal immigrants, including the infant, were referred to Border Patrol.

DPS Brush Team Seizes 300 Lbs. Of Marijuana From SUV After Driver Bails Out

A DPS brush team responded to a camera activation that led them to an SUV exiting a private ranch in Webb County. Troopers stopped the vehicle, and the driver bailed out and ran into the brush. Troopers seized 300 pounds of marijuana from the vehicle.